At sea

I find myself neither fish nor fowl.  I remain licensed in good standing to practice law in the great state of Missouri.  But I live in California, where I might as well be the immigrant who journeys to a foreign land.  The piece of paper of which I have been so jealous since 1983 gathers dust in a storage unit back home.

Here in the Delta, my city roots falter.  When I walk in the summer air, I hold a stick against the possible stumble.  My feet strain for purchase on the unlevel ground.  But the breezes cool my  brow; and my eyes flutter closed to the sound of owls high above the meadow.

I drive along the levee roads in the small SUV which I acquired in trade of my inherited Prius.  Everyone called me a fool for relinquishing the better mileage, but in the country, one needs a sturdy ride.  The San Joaquin winds past the island to the south.  Around a bend, I see one of the great freighters ponderously voyaging from the sea to the port of Stockton.  I stop in the road; with a drop on my right and the water on my left, I have no choice if I want the photo.  I glance in my mirror and see that a truck which just passed me has done the same thing.  The sun glints from his lens just as I raise mine.

I dare only a few frames.  I am not going for anything like a technical image.  I want to remember this moment, when a ship that has come downriver from my beloved Pacific glides beyond the banks of the waters near my home.  Behind me, the small green Toyota 4 x 4 has started moving.  I do the same.  We inch away from each other, reluctant to let the sight of the ship from our eyes, while the sun begins its slow descent to the western horizon.

It’s the thirtieth day of the eighty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths. — Rumi


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