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The Peace of Winter Rains

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It was raining hard a couple of days ago when I picked Maria up from school. About ten minutes into the ride, she got quiet—a rarity. I looked back and she was passed out, dish of chocolate teddy grahams barely hanging on in her fist.

The child never naps and, figuring she really must be tired, I took the long way home.

I took winding back roads and slowed down to enjoy how the creeks were rushing. I slowed to a crawl to spy the houses in the hollows that aren’t visible when the woods are in full-leaf. Some are large and lovely, some are farmhouses, and some look as if they were decorated by drunk possum, with yards full of debris and homemade “No Trespassing” signs.

There are new houses being built on what used to be open fields. The town, of less than 5,000, has two bars. If it were a warm day, the motorcyclists would be consuming at both.

I started counting all the different kinds of animals I spotted, animals who I am pleased to call my neighbors: cows, horses, goats, roosters, hens, ducks, a pig, ostrich. And that fat hawk that always seems to be on the same wire. I wonder where the fancy peacock is these days. He used to block the road in gloriously full tail feathers.

It keeps raining and I breathe in the quiet, admire the moody colors, and give thanks for the peaceful place that is home.

And for children who fall asleep in their car seats.

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