“It was a dark and stormy night…”
Well, not really. A gentle rain was falling as I hauled on my backpack for a hasty library departure. Heavy tomes on philosophy and cathedral plans of Sir Christopher Wren were stuffed in amid the lunch leftovers and laptop. Today we bid farewell to our exchange student of the past month, a month when autumn has continued its ups and downs in temperature and sunshine. At 68 degrees you can dig over the garden. At 45, the woodstove takes off the evening chill. At below 32, it snows, and it did 2 weeks ago.
But tonight the menu called for rain, good weather for random thoughts. For some unknown reason I was thinking of the small remarks we hear or say in the course of any given day. While on the marsh woods dog walk yesterday, I heard myself tell my dog, “This way to the cheese,” and pondered often I try to move to the things which satisfy. Today a co-worker thought the skirt I wore “had personality,” and I thought of the number of wardrobe dysfunctions that usually occur in my haste to get out the door. Personality sounded good.
Soon, however, a scene roused me out of these thoughts. Up ahead I saw a tall figure resembling my neighbor sprint through stalled cars as he headed for the station. I knew that run by its look—a mad dash for the 5:10 train. But I got caught by the traffic light he got through, and when I finally did make it across, my phone-watch said 5:02, he was long gone from sight. I debated, then decided to go for it.
I did the usual walk-run over the wet sidewalks, three streets, the diagonal of gravel path, then threaded the cars headed for underground parking, and concluded with the walk-trot across the crowded station concourse. In the end I found myself in a train seat, one minute to spare. It brings joy to make the train like this, make it home a little earlier, and achieve a little goal at the end of a busy day.
All the diversions of hosting our guest have put me behind in writing, laundry, sending birthday cards, oil changes, PT, the day-job, finding lost things, fixing the other laptop, and myriads of other tasks. But those things don’t feel too important tonight. I wish the French students a calm night flight back over the wide and churning sea. On this side of it, I made the 5:10.