I look across Angel’s Haven and see my son in the neighboring loft on his computer. Somehow having him here makes this house seem more like a home.
I’ve been in California for an entire marvelous year. I’ve seen the seasons bloom and fade. The egrets walk among the grazing sheep again, just as they did when I arrived. The Canadian geese rise and fall over the fallow fields. After a day in the city, returning to the park draws the tension from my shoulders.
Potato soup simmers on the stove. I opened a bottle of wine to deglaze, good Lodi Old Vine Zin. I still marvel at the thought that I’ve been drinking the stuff for years without imagining that I would live so close to the vineyards of its origins.
We drove above Berkeley today, to Indian Rock. A retired attorney from Santa Rosa stood watching his own son, visiting from Amsterdam, climb the rock’s face. “I rented a room near here during law school,” he told me. “I’ve never climbed; it always had too many tourists.” A family walked by us just then. The wife smiled. She lifted her camera and nodded. The man and I exchanged the shrug of locals, even though he had the rounded vowels of Canada while I spoke in the hard twang of St. Louis. When our offspring reappeared, we shook hands, wished each other regards of the season, and got into our respective Toyota SUVs.
It must be something in the air. I wore my smile all the way to the Delta, to my home, where the migratory season has started and the river continues its steady flow eastward.
It’s the nineteenth day of the sixtieth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues