I’m sitting in my warm kitchen, typing and watching the rain. Hearing the rain. It makes the staccato sound of thousands and thousands of little boots, as the Army from the Sky lands and covers the earth. The earth surrenders, like it always does, because the trees, grass and wildflowers have many votes in the Earth Assembly.

I see my twin wooden swings hanging silently in shadow, the ancient multi-pane glass barn windows surrounding them streaking with water in transit. My big red-brick fireplace grows darker in color, the logs above, behind and on either side of it glistening, seeming to huddle and shiver in the cold deluge, as if, “Well, no fire today.”

The rain increases in volume, the sound becoming more roar than distinct, now more a blitzkreig than a mere attack soaking all I’ve created back here, my small town wonderland for grandchildren and dogs to run around safely. The wooden fence I built serves well, to corrall their ambitions.

The red-square concrete tiles, 42-pounds each, fitted together carefully by my strong creased hands with their wrinkling skin, skirt the steps of my deck, to reduce where I couldn’t walk during and after heavy rains.

But the long earthen dam behind the swings, half of the total yard, gradually fills as the rain falls and falls and the water is trapped there, protecting the house.

Then a sight I’ll hold onto: a rabbit, a dove, a baby rabbit and several birds all on the wet deck eating fallen birdseed ignoring the rain…and each other. Wish people were more like that. Not the eating-the-birdseed part.

I am ill lately with what happens to older men, but I smile to myself, because years ago I did what was necessary, when I was still able to do so, and protect my little castle.

I am weary today, and the gloomy grey sky hiding the sun doesn’t help me, but more wildflowers will spring up soon after the rain stops, and they each offer a smile within themselves. Colonies of smiles.
Perhaps happiness, within pain, is to be able to appreciate consequential beauty, no matter how dark are the times that preceed it. As I cease typing, so has the rain.

Now, maybe I’ll sleep.

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