I know it’s raining buckets outside. It’s cold and windy, but the fresh air is calling me and I have a need to be outdoors to lose myself in my thoughts.
I gear up with all the necessities of the weather.
☔️ Waterproof boots? Check.
☔️ Raincoat and rain pants? Check.
☔️ Umbrella? Check.
☔️ Headband and gloves? Check and check.
I start to walk through the deserted streets of my neighbourhood, past tidy homes, and growing puddles on the sidewalks.
In front of one home, a man stands in front of his garage smoking a cigarette. I wave to him and he waves back. The small dog beside him gives me a single yap, as if to say that he too would like to take a walk in the rain.
I walk through the shared field behind an elementary school and junior high that back onto one another. The painted hopscotch game on the concrete calls to me. I was once a Hopscotch Diva as a child, but those days are long behind me.
I can barely hop, let alone risking bending over, balanced on one leg, to pick up a marker. Heaven forbid that I should have to leap over several boxes!
I hop through the first game on one leg, then the second game on the other leg. My left leg is still grouchy in spite of months of therapy, and it quickly makes its opinion known.
Hop. OUCH! Stumble. Unladylike exclamation!
I carry on, trying not to limp, to the nearby ravine. The small creek is heavily swollen with fast-moving water from all the rain.
The ducks are quacking. I imagine they are singing happily.
I cross the road to pick up the trail on the other side.
A city bus sits at the traffic light. It’s empty. It’s as if the world has forgotten to get out of bed this morning.
I stop to admire the small waterfalls created by the runoff from the streets, draining into the creek.
As I get closer to home, I approach a small strip mall – a reminder of this neighbourhood’s construction in the late 60s and early 70s. The amount of litter on the ground is increasing, but I’m most alarmed by the casually discarded face masks and latex gloves.
BAD HUMANS! Have you learned nothing?!
As I get closer to the strip mall, I notice the noodle place on the corner is open. Its bright LED sign is flashing proudly to the street. I’m dismayed to see customers inside, sitting down at tables, having something to eat. This is in direct disobedience with our current state of emergency.
Not for the first time I wonder if our species deserves to be culled.
I’m almost home now. I have not encountered a single person out walking. Even the cars have been few and far between.
I’m still warm and dry, although my gear is dripping wet.
I find myself smiling with satisfaction.
It’s time for lunch.