A Rose by any Name

One of the subtle aspects of joy about being a transit operator are the many people we see on a regular basis.  We may never talk to them or get to know their name.  They inadvertently become a part of my friends and acquaintance list, even though I have no written list, or could I tell you of what would qualify you to get on it.  After about three 'visits' or if I catch you twice in one day as I pass by your routine more than once, you may be unconsciously put on the list. 

At the 33 line terminal on weekends I would see a nice lady tending to roses behind a narrow fenced 'yard' between a house and the sidewalk along our terminal. These rose bushes were mature as they had a thick trunk and looked like they had been pruned many times over the years. She wore a scarf and gloves as she tended to her rose garden. My thoughts turned to my grandma and her sister and the gardening techniques my mom taught me as I paused during my day at this bus terminal. Gardening was one joyful gift my mom taught me as we worked together in a rare moment.

Then, working one weekend assigned to the 33, which I hadn't signed on to for several years, I noticed weeds and grasses had grown up taller than the rose bushes, and it looked like the yard had not been groomed at all in this growing season. I was overcome with sadness for my grandma passing, and was sure the unkempt garden was a sign that she too, had passed.

A few weeks later, when I did the 33 on OT for a Sunday, the garden was completely gone: no weeds, but no roses either. I wistfully departed, wondering if anyone knew the story of what happened to the garden. There was a big raccoon which would stare back at me from the fence line when the garden was in full swing.  I would pass by after dark, in the wee hours before pull-in, but he wouldn't talk to me, and I never saw him or her again.

Losing the Zen Garden of Roses was a sad day on the 33 Ashbury.