I try not to think about it. I don’t want this evening to end. It should be frozen in time. Just watching the rain, hearing it cascade on the roof while the leaves on the trees dance with the impacts of falling droplets. The air is crisp, clean, and damp. My house smells of chili soup and clean laundry. The bed is made with fresh linens, welcoming with their warmth. But it is looming. It cannot be denied. But it doesn’t have to be controlling.
I realize that this coming week will be a challenge, a challenge for my composure, patience, and strength – physical and mental. What I have to remember during these upcoming tasks is that the best deeds are done in small, simple movements. They are made by taking logical steps. They are not rushed. It is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. There will be many people who will have expectations – these border ultimatums – yet these are the people who cannot do. They can only preach and rant. They can boast and expound proclamations. But they cannot actually “do”.
The rain falls steady, has for hours. The light is fading quickly under an overcast sky. The bags are setting in the foyer, packed and ready. A journey awaits in the morning, and it can only be done one step at a time. Dwelling on the details, as easy as they are to envision, is a complete waste of spirit. It is truly impossible to predict their outcomes. Worry only leads to a restless night. And rest is something that I desperately will need.
The job is simple – on paper. The files are on the desk, and I cannot help opening the folder and looking through them, shuffling and sorting. I stare at a photo. Even as my bones are feeling the damp from the rain, the photo makes me feel bone dry on the inside. It’s desolate. It’s sparse. The colors are white, brown, and black. Just a road in the middle of no where. There is nothing in the imagine to provide context. It could be an image from the last century. It could have been taken yesterday. Just a place, a place I must go. A place to find, and from there, in that place, the journey will begin anew.
The day is ending now. The sun has set. And the rain falls harder, creating small rivers in the street only visible by the light of a single street lamp. Papers are filed again in the folder, and the folder tucked into my leather satchel. I pull my hat from the hook and lay it on my suitcase. It’s time to let it all go now. It’s time to just sit, listen to the rain. Try not to think about tomorrow.
On my way to the bedroom, while turning out the house lights, the image from the photo flashed thought my mind. And I can see her standing there in that stark landscape. I squeeze my eyes shut and pause in the hallway. Get this image out of my head. It’s not real. It’s a detail that only makes my stomach turn and twist. It’s the anxiety of the journey. It’s not real. I open my eyes and walk into the bedroom.
As I lay on my back, hearing to the click – click – click of the ceiling fan, I can close my eyes and focus only on the rain hitting the metal roof. The bed is soft and warm. I can feel the tension shed out of my muscles that have been bound and tight for days. Remarkably, it becomes easy to fall asleep despite the journey. Despite tomorrow looming.
As I sleep, I dream. I will not remember them when I awake. They are a gift though, filled with sounds, smells, and visions that have nothing to do with that file folder and its content. The rain never lets up, and as I sleep, the levy is filled. Farm fields will be flooded. Rivers will overflow their shallow banks. All these things, though, cause me no worry. I just sleep and dream.
It’s still dark. I can hear dripping on the roof over the noisy ceiling fan. It is still raining, but not as hard. I awake in the same position I recalled going to bed in, so I must have been more tired than I thought. The bed looks hardly slept in. I roll out of bed and stand. My bare skin feels the damp chill of morning, and I shudder. Tomorrow has come. There is no escape now, and with a heavy breath, I march onward to face this day and its mission.
Tomorrow has come.
Today, this is when it begins.