Snail in a rainstorm – that’s me. At least it was me today.
This summer in Edmonton has been fantastic. Hot and humid during the day with thunderstorms rolling in during the afternoons or evenings – almost daily! This is unusual for Edmonton; but it is not unusual for me. And today, walking in a rainstorm, I fell to musing about similar summers of my childhood.
I grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, which is in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. It is only about 7 miles outside of the city, but feels many more miles away. It is a sought after location to live in the area as it has a small-town feel to it in the midst of much larger and densely populated areas such as Arlington and, in fact, most of the rest of Fairfax County. We lived on North Oak Street – a street with (you guessed it) lots of oaks on it. I recall the beauty of fairly heavy vegetation throughout the city. Walking to Mt. Daniel Elementary School, I recall the smell and taste of honeysuckle; along the railroad tracks, I recall mulberry bushes. Azaleas were featured in the area, as well, and I recall nibbling on those – they are edible, you know!
Dad planted a garden in the backyard every spring. My least favourite chore was garden work as I hate worms and slugs, and the gardens there are filled with worms and slugs. And frankly, after a rainstorm, slugs would populate the sidewalks as well as the gardens. Slow, just like snails. To walk the sidewalks after a rainstorm took great concentration to avoid stepping on and slipping on the slugs. I think I have a permanent crick in my neck due to having to look down all the time.
The memories are good, though, they really are.
My family moved to Michigan when I started college. And I followed a year later. But I missed the Washington, D.C., area and moved back in my early- to mid-twenties. I remember a time when I lived in a beautiful little apartment in Arlington, Virginia, and did not have a car. I would walk 6 to 8 blocks to use the Metro to get to work in Bethesda, Maryland. I loved my work, so often came home late, and in the summertime, I’d end up running through rainstorms to get home from the Metro station.
I remember laughing as I ran with the pure joy of cool water on my hot skin and the thought of the picture I must have been, running in my dress clothes and high heels. Those were days when I was much quicker than I am today.
Today, as I made my way home through the rainstorm, I laughed as I thought of the picture I must have been for the drivers passing by – a soaked snail, slowly climbing the little hill and making her way along the ravine. I mused on the different seasons of life in which I have found myself gratefully “dancing” in the rain.
He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside. (Job 5:10)