Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Winter Window

We look out the window often. It's hard not to with those waves and clouds pulling our attention like a magnet. Winter is here. It arrived late, but better late than never, right? California needs this rain, otherwise everyone will be drinking reclaimed sewage, and as delicious, clean, and healthful as it is touted to be, we still say no thanks. We'll gladly take the gray skies and the torrential downpours. Every now and then, the clouds part and the sky lightens up, like it did Tuesday morning, and we saw this.

Or later in the day, when we saw this. We came home from the market later in the afternoon and put the groceries on the table. Over Roger's shoulder I saw the Red-shouldered hawk on our neighbor's roof. These neighbors are in the process of building their home, so usually there's commotion with ladders, power saws, and hammers, but Tuesday was quiet. So the hawk came to hunt.
There's only one window in this old house I can photograph out of that hasn't already yielded to ancient, wavy glass. The photographs seem soft from being taken through the closed and rain-smudged window. I don't mind, I took seventeen photographs in the five minutes the hawk perched there.
All of the hawk's movement are found in the slight changes in the direction it looks. Its concentration is only broken by the barely perceptible click of the camera shutter.

That's when it turns its gaze on us, where we are looking out at it from the winter window. We have a rare moment when something wild looks back.

We ran into an old friend the other day. He's a decade older than Roger, and two decades older than I. We had a nice chat along the railroad tracks about the state of the world and politics. He said, "Oh you two still believe things will change. You know you're going to have to give that up. Things don't change. They really don't." I thought about it for a while, and suspect he is right. I hadn't realized how much I still held on to that hope that things would someday be just as we would like them. How silly such hope seems. Based on what would we nurture such desire?

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