At the onset of dusk when the slowly fading light of the sun starts being pushed out by darkness, I typically prod leaden feet to make lazy steps out of the front door and position myself to enjoy nature’s dramatic closing of day for night. During this transitional time of late summer, the particular time would be when 7 PM is announced by the ever-reliable grandfather clock with the booming chimes.
When that front door opens and ushers in the vista and the sounds of outdoors that’s when creepy nostalgia and a bit of melancholy commence. Extruding some somber kind of aloneness and solitude. Thankfully the compelling though muffled drone of freeway sounds generated by the constant stream of vehicles from a distance, rudely jars one to reality and dominates one’s aural attention. The constant drone from I-205 which guides east-bound travelers toward Stockton and ultimately Sacramento, almost never abates, from earliest morn to past midnight.
Pointing my face west, I let eyes feast on an artfully clouded sky that continues to source out whatever light that still lingers on.
And had I gone out earlier, this same skyward orientation would have awarded me with the attention-grabbing sunset where old Sol begins to descend to the mountain-tops in the distance, past one of the neatly-trimmed parks that punctuates our four-year old development, clearly defined and framed by a high perimeter fence. Thus, as one gazes at the fast changing skyscape, above the freeway din one’s attention is quickly co-opted by the faint shouts and tiny shrieks from children frolicking in the now barely visible park, under protective mantle exuded by eager watchfulness of matronly ladies close by, a number of them dressed in their flowing native saris.
Also, I tarry at my fixed gaze to await for the passing of the car of the wife as it wraps around the western end of the park and points homeward, at about this time, too.
Turning right from the same front-door vantage point, I extend my squinting gaze to the end of a short road that skirts left and can’t help feeling like I am in some kind of dressed parade, stiffly seated in the reviewing stand presiding over an array of stocky sentinels, neatly color-coordinated in differing pale shades of beige, brown, and gray. In reality it is simply the illusion occasioned by the pale light on the houses that populate both sides of the street.
Apart from these now all to familiar sounds, Tracy is still essentially a quiet town, still doggedly clinging to the homey feel of the old farming town that it once was. Though, no more cocks crowing. No more birds chirping on treetops. Replaced by the continuous drone from the distant freeway, constantly reminding one that certain places around here are never asleep. And the many new houses dotting its once farming landscape? Another mute witness to an old town slowly receding to history.
Inevitable transitions for a growing region, a growing state, and an equally growing country.