Most mornings I wake up to sticky fibers of resistance woven together. On one of those endlessly stretchy patches outside of time I sink into a struggle with myself about my surroundings.
It's five AM in Bakersfield, Ca. The so called crush of humanity is still more akin to snowbanks in late May. There is activity. A steady thawing. In my struggle I confuse the flow of distant freeway noises with the sounds of the Klehini River tumbling out from under the glacier. The river, a wild, constant source of renewal adjacent to our homestead, freshens the entire valley with cool moisture flowing south east toward the salt water of the Inland Passage. Odd the similiarity in a semi doze. A freeway is certainly a mighty river after all.
Through perpetually open windows countering desert heat, the sound scape this morning is comprised of mostly the garbage truck. Its deep diesel, is raucously punctuated by the squeak of hydraulic brakes and mechanical arm, audible from blocks away. Rumble, air, squeal, squeak, air, rumble, air, squeak, rumble, squeal. First one side of the street, car length, by car length, until almost beyond the range of hearing then to return. Down the alley, cart by cart. Then up the other side of each and every street in this old grid style neighborhood. Mom's particular area takes about forty minutes before the truck sounds have been diminished.
By now the early yard and park guys are out trying to beat the heat. Lawn mowers and blowers add drones and screaming quite unlike any small engine noise I've known. Each yard's automated sprinklers add odd staccato: tic,tic,tic,tic,tic,tic, woooosh, and... tic,tic,tic,tic,tic,tic,woooosh. The grassy, watery smell is somewhat familiar. Thirsty hard baked clay made wet is wondrous.
Each household has now begun their daily routines. Their cars load up and pull away from the curb, merging with the larger tributary, picking up in volume moving toward highways and thoroughfares.
By this time, the desire for quiet and my struggle with location have each subsided. Instead, acceptance and affectionate family devotion have welled up. My body responds with the intentionally held image of flower strewn river flat, white capped peaks, and archtypal glacierial caves. My regular haunts and psychic shelter I'll return to often through out the day.
A deep stretch pushes out from my core and then the desire to fill my lungs. I hesitate on the intake. I know the prolific greenery of mature landscaping act as larger lungs. But it's kinda like being really, really hungry at a bus station and the chicken sandwich that you just spent the last of your change on, bird, bread, iceberg lettuce and all, look a little suspect.
Hey, Gotta eat. Gotta breathe. Right.