rural life, more or less

The reality of living in Elkhorn. Sitting behind my desk looking out over the field and down at the property below, where the 5 or 6 alpaca are not yet shorn of their winter coats. It’s been a cool spring. Watching a young deer tentatively cross the quiet drive, as though it were a 6-lane freeway — all twitching, hyper-attentive ears, eyes, and muscles, alert for any danger.

Mostly quiet, except for the crows, and the kids next door, when they get home from school. What happened to the hawks? I haven’t heard them for weeks, it seems. Orange flowers are beginning to bloom on the nasturtiums I planted from seeds this winter. I make a big deal out of it, checking every morning, for every unfolding petal.

Castroville’s artichoke festival is over. Seven miles from here, a burgler holds up the Moss Landing gas station for $100, and disappears down Struve Rd. About 15 miles away in Salinas, there is a big protest march against gang violence — the second such march this spring. In Monterey, the local AIDS/HIV project is being sued by the Attorney General for misappropriation of funds. At Dorothy’s Place in the Salinas Chinatown, people in need are given shelter, while plans and hopes for a renewal of the old Chinatown neighborhood bloom.

It looks like rain; from my window the sky is a constantly changing mass of gray clouds above the hills. I should be working on my endnotes. But instead I’m writing about the scene beyond my window.

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