a walk in the rain

We went for a walk in the rain that turned to snow yesterday.

It was a short walk, maybe a half mile one way, then back.

We each had an umbrella, boots and jackets. Our hands got cold from holding umbrellas and Lilah’s feet got cold from snow falling inside her rain boot gaps. Perhaps we could’ve done better with clothing choices.

But we enjoyed it. We listened to the stream and the plops of rain, then snow on our umbrellas. We noticed animal tracks. We looked at leaves in so many different stages of decomposition. The kids pointed out all the different colors they spotted: dark red bark, golden seeds, light green reeds. We watched water collecting and then moving across the path in a stream. We gazed up and watched the snow falling, from as high up as you can see a single flake, watching one fall, then watching the swirls of movement in many flakes together.

I was worried that the kids would be miserable. I was worried they would leave without any enjoyment. I let them choose how long to walk and turned around when they wished even though I could have happily gone several miles. They enjoyed it.

I’m so glad we went.


turning year

Burning the Old Year by Naomi Shihab Nye
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.
To the New Year by W.S. Merwin
With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible