Woke early, messed about. Pulled together a sponge for bread, washed last night's dishes, padded about with a pot of hot coffee in hand. Goofed around the house until the last minute. Thank goodness for bus schedules! Caught the 10:30 foot ferry to Bremerton and started the day's adventures.
The water in the sound was awash with light, the air dense with fog. I found myself talking to one of my branch "regulars" on the way over. One of those folks who come and go, fill up our time, take up all too many word moments, fill the air with need. So it feels from the other side of the desk when they come in waves and all of them want something.
Today I found myself out and about and in the midst of my public. I am public librarian, as you must know by now. I serve all those that come in the door, well heeled or mad, clean or the great unwashed. We make no distinctions about our patrons, we only ask that they are kind, and if not kind, at least courteous. Today I found that my people were all about me in the world, a world I have chosen to stay and live in, to work in. For that I was glad.
When you drive you see things all around you, but primarily you look straight ahead to help maintain that subtle balance of sanity on the road. Once you leave a car behind and take to the streets on foot or with public transit, all those niceties and barriers disappear. I found myself on the wrong bus across town first thing and was reminded by several of my fellow passengers when I went to pull the stop alert cord that there were no stops, least ways, not until we hit the East side transit center. Wow. Suddenly my day of adventures was filled with choices. Just like life. Turn a corner and find either circuses or car bombs. Today I found that I could go to the mall or back again to the transit center again. So I disembarked and started my trip from the beginning.
Men love to get lost, or so it seems. To women it must seem maddening, but for men it's a return to boyhood. We love to wander, find secret places, turn over rocks. My bus trip was like that. I saw three or four of my "regulars" while on that bus route, either outside walking on the streets outside my bus window or riding along with me. I sat in the back where all the wild ones tend to congregate. I sat with an old stripper and a meat cutter, a couple or three folks that were deeply crazed and marginalized by society, almost all plugged into music players of one kind or another. The meat cutter was deep into a loud public chat, and he engaged us all. By the end of voyage we all wishing him well in finding a new gal, since his fiancee broke up with him recently and he couldn't find anyone new to sit next to him on the bus.
I know that by walking about in the community that I serve that I expose myself to new avenues of approach, not only by making myself more approachable at the desk, but by making myself more visible in their lives. I saw my black spiritualist riding along in the bus with me..it was all I could do to go up to him and ask if he had any further insights about God. I saw my cowboy hatted homeless gal ride across from me..we smiled as she continued with her knitting. One gal I had seen before asked me if I was a bus driver.. I told her, "no, I'm a librarian"..she said, "oh, that's why I recognize you". Others reflected immediately on our service, one told me that we were a godsend, as her husband was always out to sea and she needed to do things with her youngster outside of the house. Unlike other WestPac widows I have known, at least she was filling up her time with books and craft shows instead of stray men.
So, know that I am one with my community. I walked back to the ferry terminal from the east side of town, a good two or three miles, with bags of groceries and movies and such hanging from my hands. It was a sunny day, pleasant and somewhat warm. I had made a few life decisions by the time I finished that walk, caught the ferry, then helped my friend Ross with his book store windows, and by the time I hit home figured in a few more critical decisions as well.
As The Painter just told me on the phone, the fact that The Boy is still gone this weekend is a sign, a sign that those things that I feel so strongly about, strong enough to move on them, that God, or, at least, a sign from one of his lesser minions, is taking an interest in my behalf. I'm not sure about God but I do know that my little saints tend to look out after me. I think that this is one more little footnote that they are interested, that they are somehow riding herd, and instead of watching the whole pack of cattle of my life go over the cliff, this time they'll go off and find those cows a new patch of grass to whittle down.
Right now I am tired, happy and filling up on a bottle of inexpensive Syrah from Grocery Outlet. I have a pot of pork broth and pot of pintos on the stovetop, and a couple loaves of sourdough bread ready to pop in the oven. I have new music on the deck, new movies to watch later this evening and a couple plans to put into action. All is well in the world for the moment.
Know that I am thankful for the actions of my little saints, for that gorgeous sunshine, strong hands and a heart, that despite all I've thrown at it, manages to keep on ticking.