Walking Away and Back Again
I left the bakery before the work was done: bread still cooling on the rack, floors unswept, tables and sinks not yet wiped down. I left because I was tired and restless and because I missed the sky. The rain had stopped. The streets and bars were filling. I cut south through the alley. Gray water wicked up the sides of my thin-soled bakery shoes. I was surrounded by concrete and traffic and noisy crowds, and then I was on the Interurban and alone under the green arch of trees. Fifty feet above me cars still roared down Boulevard, the ugly condos loomed, but on the trail the engines were overlaid with evening birdsong. The air was wet and green. I tasted wild roses blooming before I saw them. I took off my wet shoes. The sharp press of gravel felt good after twelve hours of standing on flat floors. Small rabbits watched me from the grass at the edge of the trail, darting away into the underbrush when I got close. I stopped to watch crows mob an eagle, to look out through the trees at the bright water. I walked till the trail bent across the railroad tracks and the trees opened into the grassy expanse of the park. Past the kids tossing a frisbee, past the couples on benches and the dog walkers, the steep, man-made beach was empty. I found my place at its edge. The gray water, gray islands, gray sky were quiet. To the north the Coast Range gleamed in the last light. After five minutes or thirty I put my shoes on and walked back to the trail, down the darkening green tunnel, through the alley, and into the bakery. The bread was cool enough to bag. I finished the work and rode home in the dark.
Owner | Baker
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