My son is out the door, leading the way through our neighborhood, before I can even get our front door closed. The thud of our boots, swish of my rain coat, and the swift moving creek thunders down the wash. The sound of a calm between storms surrounds us.
I take in a deep breath, then another, unexpectedly my son follows my lead, his own deep breaths reaching to his toes. I look at his face as he breathes, a smile easily falling on his face, then mine. The smell of exposed topsoil is thick after fallen leaves and twigs were washed away and swept into the street. Natures deep clean.
We look up, every once in a while, a thick droplet of rain falls on one of our foreheads with a splash from a high reaching tree. We look down, our reflection shares a puddle. He is skipping, stomping, spreading his legs as far as he can to the point of tipping over. Rushing and churning water flows down the hill and into the wash under the rusted bridge.
We walk slowly, on purpose. I stop to take photographs, wet buds and blossoms flicker new colors and depths to our otherwise ordinary route around our neighborhood. I study them. He is patient, for a while, then ready to move on. We talk about a new bird sound, snicker at boot squeaks on the wet pavement, wonder together if it is going to rain so hard it will wake us up from our sleep tonight. And, without realizing it, together, we are taking deep breaths again.
The uphill climb quickly crests before descending. My son gains momentum, submitting to gravity pulling him downhill; one of his favorite feelings. His out loud wonderings seamlessly turn to a song, a made up tune about the rain, the water flowing between his boots. He sings in tune. All is right, no better than right, all is perfectly sublime.
I walk silently, aside from my clunky boots and crinkling raincoat, listening to all the birds. They are out in force, tweeting, singing, chirping away, reminding me to slow down, soak in the calm, the freshness in the air. The downhill grade subsides, it is time to go uphill again, this is the final stretch of our route back home. I am not quite ready for this walk to end. The dwindling sunlight whispers that it will soon be dark.
We walk up to the end of the road then slip through the trees. A secret trail few know about. Our boots know where they are and feel soft on the soaked leaves. We stall and stare at the creek charging by. We cross cautiously over the muddied water rushing and dizzying within the swollen channel across metal cribbed stairs and bridge entwined with ivy and rust. Our boots clank a vibrating tune.
The swift creek moves the air through my hair. Water tumbles under our feet. It roars into my chest and I tremble. His umbrella envelopes his body down to his knees. He stands bravely in the middle of the bridge. I hope he feels brave, but I can’t make out his expression. He’s like a statue with feet firmly beneath him. He finally glances up. Bright eyes and smiling. He moves ahead.
Before I know it we return home. Warm white lights glow above us on the deck rail, the front door welcomes us inside. We start peeling off our layers, his boots soaked through, as are his skeleton pajamas his preferred rain gear. Into the tub, then books and bed. As I leave his room, he is almost asleep. I hear raindrops on the roof, the calm between storms has officially past.
This post was written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge on the Daily Post from WordPress. This weeks challenge is “Threes”, click HERE to read other entries.