The rain seems to have had its way with us and moved to other prey. Giddiness overwhelms us. We find ourselves walking with unbuttoned jackets, tossing our hats on the floor, and making plans for outdoor frolics.
I drove home tonight in a heightened state of exhilaration. The new generator (take two) only dragged on the gas mileage a little. Soon enough some of my younger neighbors will hoist it from the back of the RAV4. Then the knowledgeable ones will stand around and take stock of it. The battery will slide into its notch. A quart of oil and a gallon or two of gas will glug through nozzles into the belly of the beast. I will hover at the corner of my house, out of the way but still close enough to express interest or encouragement, as need be.
We expect sunshine soon. Perhaps one small storm will ride the skies into the Delta but by week’s end, we should be through at least the worst of it. Only one small spot in the ten-mile stretch of levee roads on which I live showed enough signs of weakness for remediation. We’re lucky; in times past, the levee adjacent to the park completely failed. Andrus Island stood under water. As I skirt the sandbags on the reinforced roadway, I picture the place as it must have been: Cold water for miles; a shroud of heavy fog hiding the shambles made of the marinas by the tumultuous river; tireless first responders in motorboats hunting for survivors, or worse, for those who perished.
But we have been spared such brutality. We live here at the pleasure of the water, and these few weeks of squalls reminds us that our homes lack permanence. We walk the gravel road and raise our hands to people in the neighboring lots. We call around, checking on each other. We leave a small bag in our vehicles, in case we cannot return after work. Such is the Delta life, in what passes for winter here.
When the skies clear, and the glow of the setting sun kisses the hills, we stand in awe. We would not have it otherwise; we take the good with the bad. The glory of the sunrise far surpasses the uncertainty of the old bridges over which we must traverse to buy groceries. I love this place in the billowy air of spring, the warmth of summer with its short burst of daunting heat, and the quiet promise of autumn when the cranes begin to make their way towards our fields. The Delta charms me with her finery and so, I accept her at my door in tattered rags. She does the same for me; how can I offer any less allegiance?
It’s the seventeenth day of the one-hundred and ninth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.