Days of Beauty

be my love in the rain

Tuesday, September 28, 2004, 8:51 p.m.

The rain has slacked off from the torrents that poured down this afternoon, but still it falls steadkly. I left folkdance early and walked home alone, barefoot and bareheaded. Rain dripped off my nose, and by the time I reached my door tendrils of damp hair clung to my forehead.

Studying is so hard. It is never done and it never feels closer to done. I would prefer something easy; I would like to walk a thousand miles across the wilderness carrying a pack and sleeping on the ground. Then I could feel each step moving me forward, my legs aching and sweat running down my neck. I might run tonight, if it becomes too much to bear.

Time is lurking around me. I cannot decide if I wish it to stop and leave me where I was at some moment in the past, or whether I would rather it sweep me on even more rapidly towards some maple-leaf future I hold in my mind.

a dog tail

Sunday, February 22, 2004, 2:31 p.m.

I felt content as Matt, Adrian and I left the dining hall: I was full of hearty food, the sun was shining, and I was chatting amiably with friends. A black dog with a curly tail ran up to us as we came outside, and we smiled and patted him and then went on our way.

The dog ran ahead of us, though, and we mused between ourselves about his possible parentage - for he was obviously a mix - as he bounced through the tunnel. As he bounded into some bushes, scattering birds and looking very pleased with himself, Matt wondered aloud if he was supposed to be alone. There were no people around, and he seemed like too much of a puppy to be wandering the neighborhood by himself. After a bit of a chase (he had not yet learned "Come!"), I caught ahold of his collar and found a tag. No one answered when we called the number on it from the gym lobby, so Matt left his telephone number.

The walk back to ML was entertaining, as we took turns hooking our fingers beneath the dog's collar and gently restraining him when he tried to walk twice as fast as we could. Back home, we found a length of twine and let him have a little more room without risking losing him again. He seemed content as I held him, sitting next to him on the steps and petting his head. It's been a long time since I had a dog myself, and I felt at peace, sitting with the sun on my back and a canine tail wagging beside me.

In a little while, Matt's telephone rang, and shortly after that a minivan pulled into our driveway. A man stepped out, followed by a six- or seven-year-old girl who scrambled over the driver's seat to greet her pet again. The man had a look of relief on his face, and offered us a handful of money - but we didn't even have to look at each other before we insisted that we didn't want it. Even without that little girl's smile, the chance to play with a dog for half an hour is more than enough for three stressed college students. We all walked back to our rooms grinning.

a new entry will go here soon

Friday, February 6, 2004, 4:39 p.m.

A grey day. Scottish weather if there ever was any in Philadelphia. The rain has been falling all day long, now harder, now softer. I woke this morning to the sound of constant soft pattering on the roof outside my window. It was so familiar and so soothing that I made far more use of my snooze alarm than I am used to doing - or than perhaps I should have. I fell lightly back into dreams for another half-hour, letting my brain tell me stories while I slept.

I do not know where everyone is on this rainy Friday afternoon. The voices that normally fill my hallway with laughter and conversation are conspicuously absent. The few people I have seen around the building are constant strangers of sorts, who I see daily and yet know far less well than I wish I did.

It has been six months since I visited these virtual folios, and the paths I've walked during that abscence have been many and varied. I have had to learn about myself as parts of my life changed wildly and outside of my control. I've entered my twenty-first year, reaffirmed my career goals, visited a foreign country, deepened old friendships and made a few new ones. Yet I am not so different, in the end from she that I was six months ago. I still drink tea constantly; I still overuse metaphor; I am still a hopeless romantic. I still sit by windows and stare at the rain.

These days are still beautiful.

Copyright Elizabeth McDonald 2003

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