Auld Lang Syne

Midnight has not yet come and I’ve already kept two of my New Year’s resolutions.

I rose at six despite having no greater obligations than chores and shopping for groceries.  But at seven I pulled alongside the fields of Andrus Island with a charged camera battery and a hunger to record the geese coming into the field.  I had promised myself that one day this weekend, I would do just that; so here I was, already ahead of schedule keeping my promises.

The geese chose another field today.  I saw them on the eastern horizon, blurry against the gold of the sunrise.  I strained to get a shot, some shot, any shot; and then turned to the flooded fields and the hawk high above me.  With the light fully risen in the sky, I went home and made coffee.

Later, I messaged someone whom I have been wanting to visit.  Resolution two.  I’m going to her house on Sunday morning.  I will take my camera.  She lives on the River Road and one never knows when one will see something beautiful out that way.

I spent the rest of the day in the mundane tasks of a solitary dweller.  Some still await me.  NPR plays in the background, with its news of Betty White’s death and the fire out in Colorado.  I texted my stepdaughter to check on her welfare and got happy news.  I smiled at the phone.  We understand fire in California.  We know its dreadful speed and careless disregard for the humans in its path.

I will not be awake when this year yields to its successor.  My eyes will droop not far south of ten.  I will scroll through social media.   Texts will come from my siblings.  I don’t expect my son to call, but he might, I suppose.  If he does, I will be well pleased.  Morning will dawn, if my luck holds, if the universe continues to favor me.  I will tread upon the floor in my soft wool clogs.  In the open doorway, I will listen to the morning sounds of the park — the rousing chorus of crows; a passing ship; songbirds.  In my 8 x 24 house, on Andrus Island, near the southern bank of the San Joaquin in the California Delta, I will draw a long clean breath and  start a fresh chapter of my story.  I have plenty of spring water, a full canister of coffee beans, and a fridge full of food.  I should be fine.

It’s the thirty-first day of the ninety-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.

“Same Old Lang Syne”, by Dan Fogelberg

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