September 27, 2005

Bus Ride

Today I took the bus. The president said to drive less, so I did.

Actually, the real reason I took the bus is that we are now a one-car family, and my wife needed the car today. This morning I rose early, even earlier than necessary (I had a horrible night's sleep filled with strange dreams), and had planned on walking the two miles to the fruit stand in East Nicolaus; that's where the commuter buses that travel between Marysville and Sacramento stop to pick up passengers.

I was looking forward to walking. It's been over a week since I've gone running, and my leg muscles are getting restless. I tried to go running yesterday, but there was a lightning storm---our first rain in over three months---that kept me inside. (And please don't suggest I get a treadmill. Running on a treadmill is like taking a trip to Disney's California Adventure....Why go there when the real thing is right outside?)

I went into the bedroom where my wife was still sleeping. I gave her a kiss and told her I was leaving. "You're walking?" she asked.

"Yes," I said. "It's OK."

"No," she said. "I'll take you."

I argued a little, but to no avail. I think my wife was embarrassed enough that her husband had to take the bus to his meeting. In California, relying on public transportation has a certain stigma atached to it. Real Californians don't even carpool. They drive themselves to work. No gas price is too high, no presidential pleading is too emphatic, to keep them from their beloved automobiles.

By walking and taking the bus, I felt like a rebel. By writing about walking and taking the bus, I feel like a revolutionary. But my wife doesn't see it that way. Recognizing her offer to take me to the bus stop as the act of kindness that it was, I gave in and accepted it.

The bus arrived at exactly 7:00, right on time. According to the schedule, it's a 53-minute ride to my destination, but today it only took 35 minutes. My guess is that the 53-minute estimate is to allow for delays due to dense fog, which is common in the winter months. Whatever the reason, I found myself with eighteen extra minutes. As I stepped off the bus, I looked around to see where I could spend them.

To my right, I saw Sacramento's World Peace Rose Garden. I walked through the garden, admiring the roses dripping with dew. Scattered throughout the garden were little stone plaques, with poems written by area schoolchildren. As cars, trucks, buses, bicyclists, and joggers blurred through the busy downtown streets, I read the plaques....

Peace is like planting
When you plant peace, its roots go
to all living things.
Dominique Siquian, grade 5

Peace is initially established
through the love of friends
but is cemented in society
through the love of enemies
Kelsey Howard, grade 10

It's not always easy to be peaceful
because it is hard to share, and not fight, and learn the alphabet
Even so, I will be a Peacemaker throughout my life
Washington Elementary School Kindergarten Class, June 2002

Peace begins with helping a brother
Peace begins with stopping a fight
Peace begins with being polite
Peace begins with saying "I apologize,"
Peace begins with making a friend
Timothy Goranov, grade 3


Anonymous said...

We have been members of the Southern California Sierra Club since 1989, and think that it is great that you are utilizing mass transit. My Wife regularly takes the train 25 miles each way to work, and I bicycle 6 miles each way to work. It might be a little more effort, but it sure feels good.

(P.S. It will not hurt our feelings if you should choose to delete this after you read it)

Tim said...

Oh my god. See the last poem written by Timothy Goranov in the 3rd grade? That was me. Babcock Elementary school, 2005. I'm 18 now. I can't believe this got on the internet. Haha, I actually found this by Googling my name. Wow. Thanks for the post, it made my day.

Danny Bradfield said...

Tim, that's awesome! I'm glad you found this post.