I went to the Howdy Doody about an hour ago, and the inside of the car was warm. I drove around for a bit after that and turned on the AC, but it was blowing out hot air. Matt had turned up the heat. It's been a little cooler lately, and yesterday it was almost chilly when I took my walk. Matt is working long days again, and he walks to the bus station which takes him into Dallas to the job site. When he was telling me about his new job the other night, I mentioned the park and ride, that he could just drive the car to the bus station, but he said he would just leave it at home so I could use it.
When I got back I started watching a BBC documentary about Hiroshima. It consisted of interviews with the crew of the Enola Gay, and an assortment of Japanese survivors. When I'm by myself, I tend to get pretty emotional about things, and the stories of those people choked me up. Then I heard thunder outside, so I got up to take a look at the weather. It had clouded over since I got back, and it was sprinkling. I saw that the neighbor across the street had also decided to check out the weather, as he was standing on his front porch and taking it in. I moved out to the old Escort and leaned against the back of it and let the rain sprinkle on me. I looked around at things... to see if there were any other people, I think, and also to just take in the moment, because I love this kind of weather. A few cars drove past and I wondered what they were up to on this day, in this weather. A few houses down somebody got into their car and started it and left. Somebody else rode by on a bike and hollered at the guy on the porch across the street.
I looked at the trees directly in front of me, in the yard of the house across the street, and realized that I'd never properly noticed them before. One is a tall and of the pine variety, with very few branches until about two thirds of the way up, where they all suddenly seem to sprout. They looked like they were reaching out for the rain, all those spiky pine needles, thrust in every direction to catch the drops as they fell. Another tree beside it is of the deciduous variety, and a little bit shorter. A bush a few houses down on the left had pink flowers on it. In the yard of my neighbor to the immediate left, there is a tree which leans toward the north somewhat. I focused on the branches and imagined them without leaves, and then marveled at how much form those thin little wisps give to the tree.
There are so many things in life that I never even notice, little wondrous things. Before this minute, I couldn't have told anyone about that pine tree across the street. I didn't even know it existed, but I've lived in close proximity with it for the past four years. Four years of not even noticing another living thing that I shared air and rain and space with. I marveled in a form of quiet fascination and dismay at my own ego and self centeredness.
Later I was back in the house and it was dark because of the storm that moved in. In the hallway, it was silent. The air conditioners are all turned off today. It was just dark, and silent, and then the thunder rolled again, gently, and muffled. Nothing moved, and all was silent except for fading sound of the distant thunder. In the still half-light of the hall, I realized at that moment that peace isn't something you ever attain, it's just something you experience now and then.