Young corn plants growing, bright green shoots unfolding into leaves that bend and curve, little beings in the moist dirt. I don’t think I’ve ever met a happier plant than corn plants. But maybe in part it is the way they grow together that makes this true, that they sprout up in kinship with the other corn plants around them. Maybe they are happy because they are in community. Today they make me think of the brown pelicans gathered on the broad, sandy beach outside Todos Santos in Baja California Sur. They stood upright, too, in clusters, alert, their kind eyes watching me, old souls. Maybe corn folk are old souls, too.
on a bench downtown
the hummingbird pokes
orange tecoma blossoms
rubs his beak against the bark
the town quiet
the air clean
the mountains close
and well loved
I savor this respite
after the earlier frenzy
and ready myself for
my Amtrak bus.
Downtown, early morning, I see my bus coming. Just before it gets to me a cement truck blocks the bus stop. All at once, my worst fear flashes, not getting to the retreat in time. But here I am, late at night, a good, good day behind us. Bone deep tired. But oh so glad.
[22 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]
I gesture wildly so my mother can spot me, pressed up against the upstairs window of the train. We throw kisses, wave like little kids, not stopping until the train pulls away. After, a pool of sadness sits in me, and the image of her small waving form on the platform.
[13 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]
I sit in the warm almost dark at the Fullerton train station. To my right, the western sky and its smog-rich orange keep deepening. To my left, the almost full moon rises, a lopsided oval, bright and clear in the blue black sky. I sit and procrastinate on my grading.
[re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]
I miss the bus, too weighed down by frozen broccoli and figs from Trader Joe’s to run when I see it pass. (I try, but I can only waddle.) I’m disappointed, but I don’t get stuck there. Instead, I dig out my mini iPad, go back to reading my homework. An Amtrak bus pulls up, the one I catch downtown when I go to L.A., and my favorite driver steps off. We’re both surprised and glad to find each other in this odd, unexpected place. He shakes my hand, and we stand there grinning at each other. When my city bus comes, it’s my favorite Sunline bus driver. “I haven’t seen you in ages,” I say. I’m delighted to see him. It’d been so long, I wondered if he found another job. When we get to my transfer stop, the bus is waiting, so I can’t linger, but he jostles my shoulder, all glad to see me, too. We can’t stop grinning. I’m moved by the two connections, these warm, kind, generous men who I’ve grown so fond of over the years. I’m struck by these unlooked for gifts. And there is a third boon, too, in between. I’d been watching the sky all day, hoping it would rain on me. While I’m waiting for my bus, the rain starts to fall. I straddle my two bags on the sidewalk to keep them from getting wet and read my homework under my umbrella. I stand there in the wet dark, breathing it all in, listening to the raindrops falling on my little canopy. I’m happy as a clam, only drier.
Early dark, the full moon hangs above the tall buildings in downtown L.A.
Fierce and bright in the cold, clear air after the crowded bus
So familiar and dear and reassuring—a sweet surprise.