Yesterday was a dreary November day, grey and threatening to rain. My husband gathered up the kids and took them to a bowling alley for the afternoon, and I was lounging sleepily on the couch, trying in a most unsuccessful way to bribe myself to tackle some kind of chore when Signing Friend called to see if I wanted to take a walk over at the canal.
Signing Friend has a Border Collie puppy, which forces her outside every day, no matter what the weather. We had the path along the canal mostly to ourselves as we strode along, moving briskly to keep up with the puppy. The sky was overcast, and part of the time, we were walking through a misty rain. The canal water was a muddy milk chocolate brown, and in the late afternoon light, the whole landscape was grey brown, with the bare branches of the trees casting dark reflections on the water.
We walked briskly to keep warm – and to keep up with the lively puppy – and our conversation moved briskly too as we talked about everything that has happened in our lives over the last few weeks. We talked about friendships and family, about the complexities of relationships. We talked about my trip to the Big City Like No Other, about her plans to travel to Baked Beans City for Thanksgiving.
We were talking so furiously that we didn't noticed how far we'd gone until we realized that it was getting dark. The evening air, the misty rain, and the conversation made me feel wide awake as we turned back, throwing sticks for the dog as we went. As we drew near to the little park where we'd left her car, I could hear the traffic on the road that runs on the other side of the canal, headlights and red taillights flashing though the darkness as the world hurried past. Beside us, the wide canal of still water reflected the last of the daylight as we climbed into her car to return home.