I am a creature of habit. I will walk the same walk for months on end at mostly the same time, mostly every day. Then something knocks me off my routine and some new habit takes form. That habit replaces the daily walk until some other thing happens that ruins the new routine as well. Sometimes things come full circle and I find myself walking again, as is lately the case.
I enjoy walking along the flood-control canals near my home. At low tide the birds poke around the muck. At high tide the reflections in the water dance in the morning light. There's always something to get my attention.
At low tide an old tire can be seen at the bottom of the canal. It's been there for as long as I've walked the walk. Though it's an ugly old thing, I've grown fond of it. It adds a geometric punctuation to the amorphous murk of the canal's bottom. I sometimes forget that the tire is there and as I rediscover it I find it comforting.
Someday I suppose somebody will get in there and remove the tire. I remember digging out some tires from a tidal area in the bay a few years back as part of a coastal cleanup effort. Those tires didn't have the appeal of this one. Neither did the thirty syringes I dug up that day. No, that was different. This tire seems homely and lonely and somehow a part of my daily walk. Sometimes the birds play in it. I imagine it collects food them.
I wonder what they'd think if the tire one day disappeared.