19 March 2011


It was brilliantly sunny when I woke up (I don't even want to admit what time this was), and it seemed like a good day for a hike. The only problem was the weather forecast. Clear at 2, clear at 3, thunderstorms at 4. A short, close hike, then, seeing as it was already 1:15 by the time I started seriously contemplating getting out of the house.

A. met me at the trail-head just south of town, and the rain started just as I pulled into the parking lot.

We started out anyway. It rained for a while, and then it started hailing. Hail is one of those odd things that I never actually seem to see. The very first time I remember hail during my lifetime was in Nigeria in 1985. I was six years old, and I fell asleep and slept through the hail. I only heard about it later. That seems to have been my entire experience with hail up until today: I always just missed it.

Today it hailed right down on my head. I caught some of it in my hand, and it looked like tiny balls of snow.

Right as we got to the top of the little mountain, the sun came out. We took off our coats and sat on the rocks. I laid back, closed my eyes, and tried to soak up enough sunshine to stave off that frantic feeling that I get this time of year, the feeling that I will never be warm and happy again, because the sun is too often absent. I want to clutch at the sunshine. I want to keep it.

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