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June 15, 2004


It has occurred to me, this last week, that I might be enjoying the best part of my life.

I am in love with a woman with whom I've lived for 15 years. After all this time, we still act more or less like newlyweds, solicitous of one another and living for the moment each evening when we reunite. Or maybe that's "again" rather than "still." Either way.

I have an old dog who leaps up to walk with me in the mornings, who pines for me and wants nothing more than to sit at my feet. The rabbit - have I mentioned I've wanted one for four decades? - shares the garden with me, eating the white clover and thistles. The garden nearly frightens me with its exuberance. The two-year-old Asian pear struggles under the weight of its crop, and I'm a little nervous about the number of green tomatoes swelling on the vines. I planted a Zinfandel this winter, already with burgeoning fruit thereon.

Also in the garden as of last week: a Mayan hammock. I watch the suet feeder through my splayed toes, camouflaged from the scrub jays mobbing the thing.

My job, though it comes with its share of petty annoyances, is engaging and worthwhile. And it pays enough to meet my immediate needs. Which aren't many. I've hired Matthew to do a couple days worth of technical stuff each week. We work, and get thick espresso in North Beach, and walk down to the Ferry Building to eat lunch and watch the boats come in. We are hatching a plan to walk the Mojave Road, 138 miles of two-rut crossing the desert. In between breaks, there is a lot of important work to do. I am behind schedule, and the blog languishes, and I owe some people letters that I keep meaning to take a few minutes to write. Is it June already?

All this shall pass: the dog is old, the tomatoes will die of frost in November, and West Nile - that great killer of jays - will reach the shores of San Pablo Bay sometime this year. Speeding trucks and sociopaths and random meteors abound. No one gets out alive.

But for now the hammock is comfortable under the live oak, and the wind off San Pablo Ridge rocks me gently.

Posted by Chris Clarke at June 15, 2004 07:00 AM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Chris: what a wonderful post, so full of hope, so full of "enough." So very, very unusual.

Posted by: Pica at June 15, 2004 11:47 AM
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Now EVERYbody knows who you (don't) write to! I loved your post, Chris, and loved the feeling of contentment that came through - especially the image of the rabbit sharing your garden "just like you've always wanted". Well, I always wanted banty hens...a rabbit is a much better idea.

Posted by: beth at June 15, 2004 03:12 PM
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*sigh* Such a nice, peaceful image. I wish I had a hammock to swing in a garden like that. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Posted by: Rana at June 15, 2004 05:59 PM
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Very nice that you've got that "these are the good old days" perspective. On the other (East) coast, we have a bunny in our backyard, too.

Posted by: Denny at June 16, 2004 08:16 AM
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