I was on the patio last night, Duncan curled at my feet, when the wind picked up. It began without even a breeze. The Lindens did not rustle and stir and the chimes hanging above us did not sway softly and release their few precious notes in preparation. One moment the world was quiet and warm; the next the trees were bending and bowing to the voice of a cold wind that frightened away the clear sky and turned our peaceful patio into a clanging discordant symphony of bamboo and aluminum bars. Duncan jumped up to see what was happening, whining at the sight of the bunnies below scattered among the tall grass, scampering across the parking lot, dodging bouncing leaves and twigs as they sought shelter under the shrubs. But then you were home and Duncan chirped and danced and we took him for a walk, the three of us navigating the night, safe and happy, together.
This morning, with you still sleeping, the blankets pulled up around your chin, the fan in the window blowing cold air into the bedroom, I slipped on my sneakers and a hoodie and took Duncan to the park to play. The parking lot was wet from a night of steady rain and the puddles reflected the cloudy sky above. The world was sweet-smelling, like pea pods plucked from the vine, and as quiet as a December night. We crossed Bowles and walked the wet grass at the park. I'd brought Dunc's squeaky ball but he seemed far more interested in the branches that had fallen from the elms and cottonwoods during last night's storm. But he stayed close and nuzzled my hand for the treats he knows I hold there whenever we venture out.
It was a lovely morning and I wished I'd coaxed you from bed to join us but you were breathing so deeply and your eyes were moving slowly back and forth under your closed lids so I kissed your warm cheek instead and left you to your dreams, hoping they were as lovely as the day.
The sky was sparingly blue but the clouds, rolling in on stripes of grey and darker grey, didn't seem in the least bit ominous. No, they were like a blanket, the kind you were smiling into when I kissed you, and they were kind enough to allow the sun to peek out and turn the cold morning suddenly hot, forcing me to take off my hoodie and tie it around my waist while Duncan sought relief by rolling in the wet grass until his hair was matted and dark. And then the rain started. Not a rain like last night, not loud and steady, but lazy and quiet, and each drop, illuminated by the sun, was pure gold. Duncan and I stood a long time at the edge of a cracked sidewalk that had been swallowed by a large puddle and watched the infrequent honeyed drops strike the surface, sending up golden ripples that barely shook the reflection of the sky above. The sidewalk, wet and silver, spread out before us and wound away in the distance and I felt like this day contained every possibility imaginable. Warm sun and golden rain all at once. It was like walking in a dream and I thought, "You are dreaming and perhaps in that dream you are walking a resplendent sterling sidewalk when up ahead you spot a golden dog and his friend, both smiling at you and waiting for you, and the music of the rain's patter in the quiet of the world is the sweetest sound you've heard."
I hope your dream was as lovely as this morning. I'm sure it was.
We have a long journey ahead of us, and there will be as many cracks and puddles as there will be glorious clear skies and sunny afternoons. And that's okay. I wouldn't have it any other way. The journey is where the magic happens.