The woman is running. She’s running on the other side of the street. The sidewalk. She’s running from East to West, but I haven’t been here long enough to know if she has already completed the West to East part. She might have just started, but she’s running and she’s winded and she’s running up hill. She’s not really running, she’s skipping, she’s skipping. Her knees lift up high with each skip, and it’s as though she’s running more vertically than horizontally, but she’s moving forward and she’s running, though it’s really a skip.
She doesn’t want to run like this, but she must. It’s sleeting now, and the sleet has made the sidewalk slippery, made the road slippery, made everything so slippery. She’s out of view now, up the road somewhere to the West, skipping with those high kicks, wondering why she decided to go for a run that turned into a skip on this day when the rain turned to sleet and the sleet never turned to snow.
I wished for a white Christmas, I did. I know it’s nice to have fifty degree winter days, but I also know that my kids wish for snow, and so I wish for it on their behalf. I wanted it to snow, as did so many others. A white Christmas, that’s all I really wanted. But it didn’t happen for us, no matter how we wished, and so this morning it’s sleeting and it’s sort of white and that lady is skipping somewhere up Geneva Street.
In the summer, the farmers wish for rain. Their fields dry and their corn withers. The ground cracks open to show its dry contents, like a beggar turning his pockets inside out to show you that he truly has nothing, nothing at all. The farmers till their dust, and inspect their drying and dried crops. They shake their fists and pray for rain, while others quietly hang their heads in desperation and pray. They need rain, just a bit, just a light drizzle that lasts a day, or a downpour that lasts all night. They need the rain and they wish and they pray and they beg. The corn wilts, the beans sag, the lines in the farmers faces grow as deep and wide as the cracks in the soil.
The lady is back now, skipping. She cautiously ran down the hill, now she’s skipping back up it. She’s wishing it would stop sleeting, but it won’t. It’s going to sleet some more, then it’s going to rain, and the kids are wishing for snow. The farmers are wishing for rain. No one is wishing for sleet.