29 October 2009

Something was bound to go right sometime today

The coldest morning of autumn yet, a balmy 44F at dawn. The cat had stubbornly taken possession of my feet, and when I tried to dislodge him, he attempted biting me.

Tinge of pink in the darkened sky as I took the son to school, breeze kicking stingingly, stubbornly. It was dry and windy overnight, though not so windy as further north where a cable broke on the Bay Bridge, or in LA where 70 mph winds were downing power lines. I can accept dry and cold and a small mess in the garden.

Pink contrail to the north, and already we see the jets heading out of John Wayne. Our direction because it's a little windy. The first one out is listing a bit drunkenly, only one wing light that we can see.

More planes follow in quick succession. All the times I've been on those runways at dawn, sitting in the lineup to head out to Manchester, Atlanta, Toronto, Phoenix, San Juan, watching the sun break over the eastern mountains, over the top of the airport.

After leaving the son with his friends at the bus stop, on the return trip, the birds are just waking, and starting to discuss the morning with each other in excited, high pitched calls. It's too early for the parrots, but I see two hawks, flapping into the air with some effort. One is clearly looking for fun and as I watch, it tests the air currents for lift, and failing to get the effect it wants, beats its wings again and drops into another glide, searching for the right bit of wind. A small group of swallows soars off in the opposite direction.

The breeze is spinning the Halloween whirligigs the daughter put out on the lawn. I unlock the door. The house is warm, but a little fusty after the fresh morning air.

I quickly scramble eggs for the spouse, who has an early physical therapy appointment, and the daughter, who can't seem to wake up. They are running late, but finally, fed and with lunches, I kiss and wave them out the door to begin my real day.

With some effort, I slay a dragon. Stubbornly. It takes the better part of the day to accomplish, but when I've done this thing, I feel some of the fear that has been dogging me for the last year flow away.

I changed, but my world didn't. I changed but the world didn't. And for a year, I've been struggling with the remnants of a society that is irreparably broken, with outmoded business models that have virtually ceased to function. But here, at least, I've taken back something, one thing, that is mine.

After this little victory, I go out and clean up another 17 barrels worth of yard waste. Did I say that I had 25 to go? Ha! There's easily another 50 out there with what the winds have kicked up and the vine that ate Orange County.

But it is progress. Finally, again, progress.

Go listen to some good music: "The Lightning Strike" from the album A Hundred Million Suns by Snow Patrol.

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