The crows warn of the coming storm.  I stand on my porch and listen to their cries.  They soar in pairs, or singly, or all of a sudden in a great rush across the meadow.  Branches bend under their weight.  A smattering of leaves floats around me.  I shiver in the rising wind.

The roar fills the air, whistling and rushing.  I cannot see the river but I know its cast against the shore has deepened.  The masts of the boats in the marina sway.  Hulls bump against the dock.  Again a shudder runs through me.  It could be a train that I hear, sounding forlorn and steady through the afternoon air.  But no trains pass this way.  It is, it can only be, the winter wind.

A little critter scurries across my paving stone walk.  A lizard, perhaps; I’ve heard talk of mice in our fields but I have never seen one this close.  I pull the deck chairs closer to the rail and roll the rug against the base of the porch.  I lean the umbrella against the house. I have no storage for the trappings of summer.  My feeble efforts mean little when the Delta gale blows, but I can do no more.

Clouds gather across the sun.  The wide expanse of blue fades to grey.  I go into the house and think about a cup of tea.   Night draws near.  I gather my sweater around my shoulders and close the door.

It’s the fifth day of the seventy-second month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

There’s a Certain Slant of Light by Emily Dickinson

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –


Friends:  While I certainly intend to continue on my #journeytojoy, and my quest to attain #MyYearWithoutComplaining, this blog nears the end of its sixth year.  I feel that it will soon morph into some new iteration.  Please be patient if the entries become more sporadic, more intense, or — God forbid — more maudlin.  My thanks to each person who reads:  for their loyalty, or, in the least, for their time.   Your comments, your caring, your concern, and your sharing make any effort involved in the creation of this blog completely worthwhile.  Thank you. 

Happy Holidays.  Be well, be joyful, be at peace.

F everyone’s I: The photos in this gallery were shot, as you see them (unretouched, unmanipulated, unedited) with my trusty but quite rudimentary Canon Powershot while standing on the porch of Angel’s Haven at Park Delta Bay, in the California Delta, Isleton, California, on 06 December 2019.

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