Me, the egret, and a newly-mown field

Life scares me at times.  I feel the fullness of time bending my back and curving me to its will.  My body won’t respond the way I want.  I can’t exercise as much as I need.  I’ve gained weight and the willpower barometer hovers on zero.  Yet I tell myself that my problems pale in comparison with those of 10,000,000 Ukrainians and my three neighbors with cancer.  These comparisons rein my self-pity short.  I shake my head and pour a glass of water.  I raise it to my shaky lips and tell myself, Tomorrow is another day.  And I still have Tara.  And as God is my witness. . .

I drive home after work, crossing the bridge at about the same time I remember that I said I would get a prescription for one of those sick neighbors.  I ease through the intersection, signal left, and pull a wide turn back to the westbound lanes.  The traffic yields and in just a few minutes, I find myself on the far side of the tall lift bridge, headed to the pharmacy.  The detour adds eight minutes to my commute.  I barely notice the lag.

With the small, white bag on the cluttered seat, I make my way east again.  In just a few minutes, I turn onto the Loop, via Jackson Slough Road with its alternating stretches of new asphalt and vicious pot holes.  Right before the decrepit tree, I realize that an egret has taken the lead, gliding low enough for me to discern the outlines of her feet.  I slow my vehicle to keep pace with her.  She flicks her wings, stabilizes, and rises to the blue.  For a brief moment, I consider braking and fumbling for my phone.  I stop, but not to photograph her.  Instead I simply watch her ascent.  Then she angles over to the newly-mown field and skims its prickly surface.  I think, she’s looking for water, and then ease my foot to the gas pedal.  I study the stacks of hay, or maybe it’s straw, standing along the edge of the road.  I lose sight of the egret as she finds her way to a furrowed row where the day’s ration of irrigation spray has settled.  In a few minutes, I turn against the rays of the setting sun, and make my way home.

It’s the thirteenth day of the one-hundred and third month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *