Tuesday, May 17, 2011
We prefer the trail idea. There is no need for the highway and there is so much need for walking paths in our neck of Texas.
Walking the rail line is harder than we thought. My short legs mean either I have to hop from wooden tie to wooden tie, or bump along from wooden tie, to the crushed rock between them, to the next wooden tie. Bumping became more elegant than the hopping-but in either case, I had to keep my eyes on the ground.
Having to keep looking down meant that I was missing the scenery, which was the whole point of the hike. I finally learned to stop once in a while and just notice what was around me-a fine stand of oak trees, wild flowers, and, oddly, two shore birds, beautiful with their morning song. All of this a flourishing of life, and all of it in spite of a drought that the weather service has termed "an exceptional event." That there are flowers at all is astonishing to me. The bird song rises above it all in its own arc of defiance.
There was a boom of thunder, a shuddering of the earth-and it poured down rain.
It was, of course, a wonderful coincidence, one that would seem to cement this child's growing understanding of the causal connections that there are in his life-at four years of age, he just might believe that he caused it to rain.
Or, perhaps it is not a coincidence at all. Maybe the Person in Charge of Rain Showers noticed a little boy wishing that it would rain, and so responded appropriately to the child who had sent a wish skyward with all of his might.
As we stood at the gate that blocked the tracks, I noticed the shorebirds flitting up and over the border and into Mexico, carrying with them a song that defied borders, drought, and doom.