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May 10th, 2012

I went walking in the rain.

It was a cold, rainy morning, but I had made up my mind to go for a walk on the 840 trail before I hunkered down for the grading extravaganza of the day. So I headed out. Managed to forget my wallet again, and, yes, the cheerful yellow "Needs gas" light came on on my way to Utica. But I borrowed from Peter to feed Paul, and continued on my way.

When I got to the trailhead there was only one other car in the lot (unusual), due no doubt to the fact that is was 45 degrees, raw, and wet. So I set up the audiobook, zipped up the coat, tightened my hood, and hit the trail. The trip out was pretty quiet. Only passed two people, and neither of them had a dog. Which may explain why on the way back there were so. many. birds.

I love birds. I have to love them from a distance, since I really am very attached to breathing, so going for a walk where birds are is ideal. There are usually ducks, robins, and redwing blackbirds (they're pretty cocky, and don't get flustered all that easy). Occasionally I'll see an oriole, the occasional cardinal, and get bossed about by a bluejay. But today there was a mating pair of goldfinches, right by the edge of the road.

Goldfinches make me very happy. Oh, I know they're actually rather bad-tempered, argumentative, pushy little things. Bullyboys in the bantam rooster sort of way. But they always make me happy. On a grey, wet, cold day the brilliance of the male's bright feathers, and the female's subtle shades brought a smile to my face. We regarded each other as I went past, me seeing them, they seeing me. Sharing the morning, without sharing anything more. There was a bounce to my step after that hadn't been there before, not even after I'd seen the male redwing shaking water off his wings so thoroughly that there was a huge red blaze against the sky.

When I got to the car I switched out of the wet coat into a dry one (I'd remembered three coats, but not my wallet *face palm*), and got ready to go. But when I reached to turn on the ignition, I glanced out the front window, and sat back without turning on the car. I stayed that way for just a few moments, looking at the lawn and enjoying the sight: a Canada gander, goose, and 4 fluffy goslings walking across the grass.

It was the best cold, raw, rainy morning I've ever had.