[Continues from: “While-You-Drive Brunch”]
© — The drive through The Valley was flat and mostly straight. And truly interesting. We drove through farmland growing all sorts of stuff. Miles of orchards…fruit trees and almonds. And along levees that separated rice fields that were filled with vast expanses of water, but had no rice growing in them. What they did have were birds. All sorts of birds! Migratory water foul in the heat of winged coddiwomple season. There were ducks, geese, and swan. Big birds. Little birds. Birds of all colors. And atop the fence posts and telephone poles were raptors…hawks and falcons. Loads of them. (Thank you, Rachel Carson!!!) And kites, small raptors that can hover in mid-air, perfectly still in the right wind, so as to not cast a moving shadow that would send the rodents running for cover.
On the west side of The Valley, the road slowly pulled uphill, gently at first. On through a winding canyon, and then up into the mountains with the ever-changing trees, fluffy flora at their feet. Then came the winding strip of black that carried us upward. Howard never did mention that he was prone to getting carsick. He didn’t have to. Well, Billy and I had plenty of opportunities to get out and check out the scenery…every four or five miles.
The changing landscape got me to thinking. It was the ‘changing’ part I found more fascinating than the different scenery itself. I thought, “Maybe I ought to look around more at what’s changing, and less of thinking about the different stuff ahead, as well as less about what was different about that which lay behind me.” Maybe it was the dynamic and fluid changing part that was more interesting. So I gave it a try. And I’ll be darned, it worked! I really didn’t mind so much stopping 12 times in 45 miles. It gave me a chance to see the beauty in a view that changes. Then I thought, “Well, what about the rest of my life? Maybe I should think less about the challenges in my past, as well as less about a brighter future.” So I tried that! Yep…that worked, too! I remember one stop, Howard making awful noises behind the car, and I saw a small shrub with hundreds of small, light-blue butterflies on it. Might have missed that if Howard had not been so persistent with his regurgitation. Well, thank you, Howard…gotta love that guy!
(For your convenience, we offer…The Coddiwomplers Route Guide)
Copyright – Robert W. Hansen – 2017