Running. With light that falls.

6 a.m. Friday morning.

I’m running. Down the hill, around the corner, and down the sidewalk on Post Road.

I adjust my stride to miss the cracks between the concrete slabs. Grass sprouts up from the cracks, asparagus colored green, bushy clumps – it was a Simone Weil moment: “Only the light that falls continually from the sky gives a tree the energy to push powerful roots into the earth. The tree is actually rooted in the sky.”  How? How does this grass push its way through the concrete? The light, roots the grass to the earth, pulls it upward to the sky.

The street is empty but for a big city bus a few hundred feet up the road. Its body is dark, a hulking silhouette, its interior beams, illuminated. It’s odd to see a large bus in our small town, so early, so far from Manhattan. The bus is full, passengers lean their heads against windows, their mornings started in darkness some time earlier followed by…

A long walk to the bus stop.
A long wait for the bus, delayed.
A slow tip of the hand to release coins into the dispenser for the fare.
A long ride on the bus to work, seats worn, cushions flat, flush to metal.
A long walk from the bus stop to work. 
And do it all over on the return at the end of the day.

It’s a few feet from our back door to the garage to my car. The gas tank is full.  I push the button for ignition, the cool air conditioning envelopes me in the cabin. I adjust my position in the soft leather seat. Always have a seat. Never a long walk. Never a need for coins.

I pass a bus on the street on my drive to work. Passengers look down, with blank-eyed stares.

Yes, Simone. Yes. The light. The sky. The trees. The roots. The earth.

And…The Lottery.


Notes:

  • Post inspiration: “I honestly believe that…things can change in an instant, and made it key to my philosophy of life: neither money nor my work define me. I like them, they allow me to do many things I enjoy, but if I did not have them, I know I would be able to find something else to do, I would be able to survive, I could be happy…I never take anything for granted, and I never forget how lucky I have been, and am.” ~ Alan Cumming, Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir
  • Photograph: Skogrun
  • Related Posts: Commuting Series

Comments

  1. Can never be too grateful, pal, that’s my takeaway. I often wonder how I was lucky enough to land in the spot I’ve landed in, and I suspect I will never know, but do try to take that luck and pay it forward whenever possible. Love the Cumming quote, too….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes Lori. Me too…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Your thought reminds me of:

      In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing – not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.

      Each baby, then, is a unique collision – a cocktail, a remix – of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.

      When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes – we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.“

       – Caitlin Moran

      Liked by 3 people

    • Lori, agree – there is always a marvellous mix and mariage in David’s offerings 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You’re also richer in many ways money cannot buy.

    But come on, this photo makes me only want to ride the bus ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Is it a spectacular photo. Agree!

      Liked by 1 person

      • This post reminds me of a time in my life, I was in my late 20s and a single mother with two boys. I wasn’t going to invest in a car. Work was 5 blocks away, their school, across the street. But grocery shopping was a hassle in long Canadian winters.
        When these two boys got their driver licenses years later and both wanted cars right away, I told them about our grocery shopping when whey were 2 and 4. I had so much to carry back from the grocery store. I asked each one of them to put one hand in one of my winter coat pockets. I still have that coat, a light camel wool/cashmere. It was a gift from my father and it was ankle length at some point. Because I had to walk everywhere I altered it to knee high so I can walk comfortably.

        When we walked back from the grocery stores, a son on each side with his hand in my pocket, I kept calling out their names. And the one I called knew he had to tug at me to know he’s still there. And I miss those days…

        Liked by 5 people

  3. I’ll take my car any time over the bus ride, but then I have the guilt of polluting the air – although the bus does pollute big time.But the boredom of the bus ride…. Every day, every day … ticking my time away….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m right there with you Anneli.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can remember thinking (during commute times) how my life was wasted sitting there, but if I had it to do over again, I would come up with something useful to do, even if it were just making lists, or planning the rest of the day. That would be easier to do on a bus, but if I were driving, I’d have to find some other way. I used to have the radio on and sing a lot on my way to and from work (nobody else in the car so I could do that without causing too much damage). 😉

        Like

  4. “and I wonder, still I wonder” if you have a sun roof and if you slid back the cover, opened the sun roof, exposing light and sky… if you opened the sun roof you’d hear the moving sounds of life passing through the neighborhood, the sprinklers watering green lawn and bright flowers as you sit at a stop sign, the sound of a dog barking, a basketball bouncing, the honk of a horn, entering the 95, increasing sped you’d feel the breeze passing through, the sun kissing yourself and the light, illuminating & freeing…as sirius plays “summer breeze makes me feel fine”…lofting off, incorporating into the air of summer’s light…/// PS: I know you had the a/c on..sometimes, simultaneously I have the heat seat-er on, the a/c and radio blasting and the sun roof open, I’m engaging in the freedom of light…and I am grateful…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. a game of chance and luck

    Liked by 1 person

  6. the lottery, and hard work. loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. David, I love all of this, the Cummings quote, the bus shot, your writing, AND the comments…. And I have a feeling of post-suffering as yesterday I went and returned to/from Paris in the heat of 30+°C in train & metro – and it was sheer hell. I wondered how on earth people can stand this every day, morning and night, if it was SO bad during the day, on a Sunday AND during the big summer holiday when literally all of France is in their summer houses or abroad or grilling somewhere at a beach. I felt dead, drained to the bones, sweaty and I had to take a long pause upon returning home to recover!
    Made me all the more thankful for not having to do that every day.
    Met 1 ‘deaf’ beggar, 1 man who claimed he had a university degree but no job with a heart-wrenching story about a handicapped daughter in a special needs’ home and he having no money to visit her, several SDF (sans domicile fixe = homeless) living in closed entries of shops and mostly Africans who came or went to work. What a lesson of How to be Thankful…. How fitting that Cummings quote…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautifully written, as always, David. I just wish that the great ‘lottery’ of priorities in this country would result in better (on all counts) public transportation.

    Liked by 1 person

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