Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cycles and Shifts

Nature is forever arriving and forever departing, forever approaching, forever vanishing; but in her vanishings there seems to be ever the waving of a hand, in all her partings a promise of meetings farther along the road.
Richard Le Gallienne

Three days a week I commute to work, a 40 minute drive by freeway, a 45 minute commute using 2 lane back roads. In California, the freeways are crowded even at 5 in the morning, so I choose the back road. The bulk of my commute is through flat farmland with mountains visible on 4 sides. In the year I've been commuting, I've come to know the cycle of nature intimately.
There are four very distinct seasons in the Midwest/East Coast where I spent my life before coming to California. When I first arrived, I didn't think there were 4 seasons here, really only two. Now I've realize that where the seasonal changes are announced by broad brush strokes in the other states where I was, here they are subtle and you have to observe closely to see them. There is a sameness that I see, yet constant changing. I've come to watch for and know hawks who hover on certain power poles, an elderly Latino gentlemen wearing a white cowboy hat who strolls every morning and horses, cows and llamas who blink at me sleepily as I drive by. Yet there are changes too; a rice crop growing this year that wasn't planted last year, a whole orchard of apples trees being pulled out, and a new field of grape vines coming to life for the first time.

I've come to enjoy my morning commute as my meditation. I play soft music, sip a cup of tea and watch life emerge, change and endure in all it's cycles and shifts.

Lucinda Williams, "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road":

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