I'm in the middle of making muffins so this will be brief.
I'm listening to WWOZ and Hazel (the Delta Rambler) is dedicating her show today to trees. In between the songs, she and her guest, Monique Pilie (of Hike for Katreena) are talking about the tree situation in New Orleans. Still pretty dire.
Since returning in March, I've been traveling on foot or bicycle a lot, which definitely puts me in closer proximity to trees. During the summer, when the Louisiana heat was making me humble, the shade of a few particular trees on the route between my work and my home saved my life. Besides my landlord's triflin' nature and not having a porch on my little house, I guess the absence of trees on our street is my biggest disappointment. Monique's nonprofit, born a few months after Katrina and the levee break, helps neighborhoods organize to (re)place trees. I called and left her a message inviting her down to my neck of the Irish Channel. Maybe we can get some trees going on.
Even the fastest growing tree probably won't benefit me much in the six months I have left in this place. I won't see the fruit of our labors. But down the road somebody's gonna think a thankful thought.
Oooooh. I miss my motor scooter. Bicycle travel is fine most of the time but the scooter allowed speed and ease of toting cargo that my bicycle can't match. Both modes are still slower than auto travel, though. Since coming to the South I had a car all of 12 months. My life pace quickened for those few months. Now I'm back to the other clock---the one in closer sync with "the long now" and the 10,000 year clock.
And it's mostly okay. Maybe this is what happens to everybody--you get older and you slow down. And slow is good. Elegant. Spacious. How can you "savor" anything quickly? How to even compare the pleasure of slow sex with a "quickie"? Drive-through with marinating? A glance with full eye contact?
And "slow" is a relative term. Bicycling down St. Charles at 5 in the evening--feels like I'm moving at snail's pace. But a three-hour picnic dinner on the flood wall along the Mississippi, watching the light fade and the boats go by feels like perfection. Like everything is finally moving at the right speed after too many awkward years looking for a pace that fit.