Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Sweet Sound of Two Men Laughing

NORTH BOSQUE BIKE PATH--Bob Evans and I hadn't been able to ride together for a month. We were taking the north route. Bob parked his VW in the parking lot at Kit Carson Park just south of Tingley Beach, and we started north at a pretty good pace. Before long we saw a guy coming towards us on a tricycle and flagged him down. Bob figures his body is taking him in the direction of just such a machine.

It was being ridden by a man named Mark who works at the airport. He rides down from Alameda and the river every day to Tingley Beach, catches a fish, and brings it back north again to the Alameda parking lot. As I understand it, he then takes this fish with him to work, where he cooks it and eats it.

     Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb

Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley

Down the rivers of the windfall light.
Everything seemed to be busy changing down by the Rio Grande today...and that included the two of us. We felt like boys again, maybe 13-year-old kids, out riding and exploring for the day. We saw all kinds
of birds including a Bald Eagle, Canada geese, and a whole flock of sea gulls. Could somebody please explain what they are doing on the Rio?

And cranes. Lot of cranes. And they were headed north! They didn't look in any particular hurry, but the cranes were definitely headed north.
         Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
We were up on the old Alameda Bridge by this time. It turns out that the state is doing some habitat restoration on all those islands north of the bridge. We saw an airboat of some
kind ferrying workers. And there is a big crane out there that seems to be dredging new channels into the center of some of the islands.

We fooled around in the old sand bars for a while. I found a curved stick that had a plastic tape tied to it at both ends like some kid was trying to make a play bow-and-arrow. Bob and I thought how similar our lives were today to that kid. We're laughing in the sunlight, wandering around, riding our old bikes anywhere we want...yes, childhood does return occasionally.
     And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden

Follow him out of grace.
We got up on the levee and continued north. A couple of miles from Alameda Blvd. Sandia Pueblo has a gate across the levee threatening trespassers with prosecution. "Well," I asked him, "Do you feel lucky?" No...not that kind of lucky...just lucky to be here. Just lucky to be two wise guys laughing.

     Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
--from Fern Hill, Dylan Thomas


Anonymous said...

Best yet Johnny. I know and love where you were. Both ways. Light, Coco

Marsha said...

I've lived in Albuqerque for 3 years (on the NW side) and not once have I done that. Very nice pictures.

Anonymous said...

John Fleck says -

Thanks for answering my question about that work on the sandbar islands north of Alameda. Without me even having to ask it. You *are* good.

Phil said...

great post, john - you've made me homesick!

Howard said...

Fish.Mussamun curry with fish,potatoes,andpeanuts.