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 My father died in the fall of 1996.  But every year, in early spring, with the chill still in the air, my father comes back to me.   He com...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Walk in the Rain


I went walking in the rain the other day.  I had on a waterproof jacket with a hood, old running shoes that have seen better days but were used to getting wet, a pair of faded jeans, and a T-shirt I got back in the days when I was running in races with the face of a Viking on it.

The rain had turned into a slow, steady drizzle and I quickly realized that my glasses were of no use so I took them off and put them into my jacket pocket.  The world looks different when you are nearsighted and not wearing your glasses; foggy and mysterious, soft around the edges.

The fall rain, combined with fallen leaves has a unique smell that is only present that time of year, that I associate with high school and wrestling season and endless running drills in a sweaty gym.  And on this particular day, I was back in that gym, on those mats; young again with boundless energy.  And I wasn't even aware that the drizzle had turned to downpour and that I was soaked from the waist down.

Despite the rain, I crossed the highway and walked into the park across from our neighborhood. Because of the rain I had the entire park to myself.  I walked the trail that wound through the woods and listened to the sound of the rain coming through the trees, like whispers on the wind.  And then I walked to the small stream that was near overflowing, its waters reaching the top of the bridge.  Rain changes things.

Soon, I found myself in a road near the field that months ago during summer was planted with corn.  This was the field that I had walked to the day before my sister died three years ago and had been followed by a dragon fly.  I had told my sister about it and she said that lately dragon flies had swarmed her each time she went outside.  And now, every time I see a dragon fly, I think of that day and this field and the quiet summer corn, and her.

From the field I walked back home, and the rain fell steadily all the way back.  And as I unlocked the door to my house, I was thinking about what a good walk it had been.

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