March 30th


While my car is in the shop, I have been enjoying interesting little slices of life while riding the bus to work.

*****

I was walking out of Safeway this morning, coffee in hand and on the way to the bus stop.

Coming across the sidewalk towards me was a diminutive lady of some advanced years, pulling her wheeled shopping basket. She had one of those caps that was a cross between a swimmerís cap and a turban, with a large glittering rhinestone on the cap in the middle of her forehead. Her face had lines of age, although they appeared to be set more in determination than in pain or emotion. Despite the only color in her cheeks being brushed on, she had stopped short of the unfortunate clownish self-caricature that so many of her peers achieve.

Stopping her bicycle at the crosswalk for the crone to pass was an attractive twenty-something girl. Helmeted, she was wearing clean and warm biking clothes that avoided the more garish and fetishy bike-geek gear.

The frozen moment I captured was the crone approaching me, on her way for her daily shopping in a determined manner Ö and just past her, the glimpse of the younger woman caught in a moment of realization, clearly a deep meaningful reflection, that someday that crone would be her.

As I continued on and settled on the bench at the bus stop, I was musing about the thoughts of a young woman bicycling onward to her job, considering how to cross the path from girl to crone with as much quiet grace.

*****

One quickly comes to the conclusion that if you donít ride public transportation periodically, you miss out on so much of the salt and pepper that is sifted upon the human condition. My driver this morning worked as a psychiatric and substance abuse social worker prior to starting what is now a 25-year career driving a city bus. A simple prompt by me and the stories surged up willy-nilly from her until my stop. Obviously, Iím going to have to ride more often, to get more of the stories both from her and in my own experience.

Life continues to be good.



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