The rain began as we had almost gained the top of the longer side of the hill.
Just a few drops as we passed by a line of trees marking the edge of a hay field, and I hoped it was just drops shaking free from the green leaves, then a steady rain that angled under the stroller’s hood and fell on the babies’ legs and feet.
We broke into a trot, the dog and I, breathing hard after just a few feet while the older one told me to run fast, that it was raining on her sandals, and the younger blinked, surprised at the wind and the rain that had woken him.
It was sunny when we left, and too warm for the hooded fleece jackets I’d put on them. The baby fell asleep before we’d left the house and he slept through his sister’s kisses and her busy play – though on top of the hill the wind was strong and it blew on their faces and woke him and I was glad for the jackets.
The road crosses a two-lane highway, then rises steeply to a gas-well site and a church overlooking the hamlet below before falling away into woods and farmland. The second half is shaded – the girl doesn’t like it. Dark, she complains. All done shady.
It’s half a mile to where it dead-ends into another two-lane highway, and we turn around there. People drive too fast on the highways and there’s no edge wide enough for a double stroller and a dog. There are haybales there and she likes to talk about them. They’re good, she says. Horses eat them, and so does she.
Today we walked in soft, cool sunlight to the turn-around point. I hadn’t noticed clouds blowing over, but they must have when we were under the trees. Because there on top of the hill the rain began in earnest and the dog shook himself as he trotted beside me and my hair and back were wet and the babies’ legs and feet were wet by the time we’d ran to the bottom of the hill and crossed the highway and found cover under our apartment porch.
We were still taking off shoes and jackets and I was still thinking about whether the bucket was under the hole in the ceiling in the laundry room where the water came through last night when the gentle rain gave way to a downpour.
Home just in time.
It feels like September. The air and rain are cool and the breeze is strong. The crows in the trees at the edge of the fields and the geese flying in formation overhead sound like summer is ending.
Only the green all around remind us that it’s still July.