A walk in a park in the rain.

Itís cold and itís wet. The gondola I sit in, half surrounded by trees, the other half a lake, may as well be hundreds of kilometres from civilisation. Or, it may as well be in the middle of a great metropolis. Who knows?

As I look around me, I see a dozen or so ducks, happily going about their lives feeding on whatever they can find in the grass. The rain is getting harder now. The trees glisten with the new water upon their leaves. A spiderís web, at first invisible appears out of thin air as the droplets cling to the sticky silk.

An older couple, probably in their late 60ís, walks around the corner. A reminder that human life does exist somewhere. They step into the shelter of my sanctuary, shake their umbrella and ask me if I know where the exhibition is. After pointing them in the right direction, the couple share their portable protection from the weather as they walk away. The breeze picks up again, as a roll of thunder travels across the heavens into the distance.

A single lamppost, void of any companionship, leans ever so slightly in the rain. A small black bird lands on top of the light and ruffles its feathers. A high place to have a bath. In the distance, a cockatoo screeches as if calling out for a mate.

Water drops falling from the roof, play out their final dance of life as they hit the ground, splashing for a second before being lost forever. More and more drops fall and dance the same fate. A small puddle forms, giving these drops a new life.

The wind and rain die somewhat, and I walk along a path as the wind caresses the trees. The picnic tables and park benches are soaked. Nearby, an empty cigarette packet, the bladder from a cask of wine and a plastic knife litter the ground. Discarded by some irresponsible or uncaring unknown or person.

While I feel the rain tumble down, I see the older couple again, still sharing their umbrella, strolling along the waters edge. Seeing the obvious affection they share, my mind wanders and I think about a special someone back home. A lady whom I care deeply for. How long will it be before I get to see her again? To feel her embrace? I wish she were here to share this time with me. I smile as I return to the present and leave her in my memory for now. Left, but not forgotten.

Itís even colder now. I can almost feel goosebumps on my bones. I feel compelled to leave here, to make my way back to my car and to society. Slowly, I tread up the wet and slippery grass. I find my car, the engine comes to life and the heater warms me up as I head home.

Jeff Friend

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