Most days I ignore the email from Google Photos telling me that no human eyes have seen my photos but here they are from this day, last year. Today I clicked the link and saw some lovely shots of birds in fog, landing on the culverts and ditches filled with water by the farmers of Andrus Island. I studied the slightly blurry images. Maybe, some day, one day, I will get a real camera, have my cataracts removed, find glasses that work and frames that fit, and take good photos. But for now, these memories must suffice.
I lost my camera battery charger on a recent weekend out of town. It might be at the bottom of some bag. I haven’t had time to look so I’m saving the little bit of power left for something spectacular. When I slow down, perhaps this weekend, I’ll rummage around and find the thing or order another one. The snow geese have returned. The owls swoop from tree to tree in pairs. The egrets gather near the tractors furrowing out the fields. Hawks soar through the steely sky. I stand on the ground yearning to freeze time so I can memorize the high arc of the cranes overhead.
I do not know how I got enrolled in the Google memory notification program. Most of the time, I ignore random computer generated calls or emails. But this haunting reminder of another winter lures me into reverie. My fourth anniversary in the Delta just passed. Four years of driving the levee roads in a silent car staring at the migrating waterfowl. Four years of watching the hyacinth float downriver. Four years of yearning to be closer to the sea, or maybe two thousand miles inland, on the banks of the Missouri again.
I close the memory page and reach for the computer switch. I have dishes to wash, emails to return, exercises to force myself to do, and a long dark night to navigate before the sun rises over the quiet of the sleeping park. I have no time for sentiment this evening, and even less for self-pity.
It’s the twenty-ninth day of the ninety-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Photos taken Dec. 2020, Andrus Island, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.