While I was cloistered in my house, the world turned another click. The snow geese continued their migration, leaving only a few stragglers who soon rose into the sky and carried forward. The birds of prey returned to the trees of Andrus Island. Branches tower and sway against the expanse of tender sky, bearing their leaves in verdant contrast.
My eyes do not see well enough for true photography, nor have I skills with which to venture beyond the auto-setting. Nonetheless I leave my home before eight when I can, throwing my Canon onto the seat. I nudge my car to the shoulder on the narrow levee roads and tip my glasses to the end of my nose. I squint through the view finder, straining to discern the blurred shapes. I often cannot tell whether the camera has not focused or my eyes have come undone.
I worked at home for a week even before the state-wide shelter-in-place order because of a low-grade fever and a skittish climate. Two days ago, I ventured back to my darkened office to help keep pace with the demands of our estate-planning clients who often cannot wait for their wills and trusts. Time presses against their frail bodies. We feel that keenly and strive to satisfy the pressure. I also need the income, and the vagaries of my internet connection made working from home somewhat difficult.
So I drive to town in the eerie silence of a lockdown morning. The turn to HIghway 12 poses no challenge at an intersection where white crosses and scattered flowers mark the tragedy of frequent failure. The Rio Vista bridge remains open without the frequent river traffic which seems to have slowed. I pass over and into the silent city. On the way home, I stop to watch the hawks studying the vineyards. They let me gaze. They do not flinch. I raise my camera and press the clumsy shutter. Then I continue home to my silent dwelling, some kind of peace settling on my soul. The pandemic has given me this gift: I no longer need to mutter excuses for my solitary situation.
It’s the twenty-seventh day of the seventy-fifth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.