walking home

squelch, squelch, squelch …

i trudged along down the sidewalk, feeling the tide rise in my tennis shoes and my little toes going numb.

with my hood pulled tight around my face to keep the rain out, i felt blinkered like a horse.

with my blinders on, it’s all pretty good — i could take them off, but i don’t see why i should.

sometimes i wake up and realize i put them on without knowing.

i walked by a rain-dark tree, its roots exposed from the mud that washed down the side of the hill. there we were, the tree and i, together for a moment, but my lovely musings were interrupted by a dead squirrel lying in the grass, its fur soaked and sad-looking, limbs splayed awkwardly.

i moved on, a little sick.

in my mental ramblings i moved on as well, contemplating the beautiful genius that intimidates me.

are we all a little like dr. jekyll, hiding something we don’t want the world to see? what if they should find we have emotions, feelings, after all?

i don’t mean the sort of mr. hyde. something far too precious for words.

i crossed the street, disinclined to walk faster for the sake of the minivan waiting to turn the corner. i asked God for something before i made it to the other side. i’ve forgotten now what it was.

sometimes it’s easier to pray for other people, for people you don’t know, whose voices you can’t hear in your head, whose minds you can’t read. so i did. i was reminded that though we have many different sets of eyes, and many different linkings of heart and soul, we all have the same need to see our need to see our Need.

i remembered how a woman’s rejection of a man was a tiny pinhole portrait of the cosmic drama of man rejecting God to declare himself god.

god with a tiny little “g.” but we puff and strut and parade around like we’re the most important being in the universe when, really, we’re dust suspended in bags of water, inflated and kept mobile by the Breath that inhabits us.

i turned another corner and started the last long, puddled stretch before coming to my crooked little side street. i walked slowly downhill, trying to remember if i had been talking to God, or myself, or someone else entirely. there to my right lay another squirrel, its fur not matted and rain-slicked. did the sure-footed little daredevils lose their grip on slippery days like today?

finally, home, through the bleached grass and sweet gum pods framing the driveway. i marveled at how red were the leaves on the ground, how warm, how welcoming.

damp in shodding and in shrouding, but not in spirit, i unlocked the door and walked in.