Today my middle daughter, the six year old with the soft voice and the steady gaze, walked with me to the optometrist to pick up her new prescription. It is only three blocks, but we had to hurry since they would close soon. It was raining, drizzling really, so I opened up the big golf umbrella with the red and white panels. We stepped out into the rain, my left hand holding the umbrella and her glasses case, my right hand cradling hers. The gentle breeze, magnified by the umbrella's size, twitched it vigorously in my grip. "Let's cross the street quickly, sweetie," I said, a refrain I repeated at every crossing. It was a mistake to describe my daughter's motion as walking. My girls do not walk, they skip, hop and dance, so my right hand moved as unpredictably as my left. What a treat for the senses! The gentle patter of the rain on our umbrella was interrupted by the loud whoosh and splatter of the cars along the busy street. We ducked under the low hanging branches of trees decked out in all their summer glory, their leaves brushing the top of the umbrella with a swishing sound. Occasionally we were forced to leave the sidewalk to avoid them. Every so often I could feel her hair brush my elbow. The deep green of the leaves, the weathered gray of a privacy fence, the reddish brown of wood chips and the wisps of steam billowing from the car's fenders as the rain contacted the hot engines were a treat for the eyes as well.
I thank God I am alive, and that I can share His world with my wife and our daughters.