The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Showering the Brick Walkways

 I awakened to the last workday of the week, already occupied with the day’s worries.  A Man with five daughters has no shortage of cares, and my mind seemed determined on this day to give each one a good and proper fretting. I rolled towards my nightstand like a runner turning to the starter’s gun.

Three luminescent blue digits glowed dispassionately in an otherwise dark room.


Ready?  Go.

Worry #1: if I don’t go back to sleep I will be too tired to give the rest of my troubles my best.

(I’m nothing if not very, very good at lining up a long, nearly unbroken string of trifles to smooth the momentary gaps between major catastrophes)

But it was true, and the momentary distraction decoupled me from the matter that awoke me in the first place.  I realized that here in this quiet room I couldn’t conduct any of the day’s business and so could enjoy the moment without the niggling sense I should be doing…something.

So I just listened.

At first some of the day’s pressing matters threw words into the space where the night’s sounds gently breathed.  Quietly, the sound of rain on the brick below my bedroom window enveloped the room in its soft, persistent sound.  Rain on the brick.  Rain in the trees.  Rain on the roof, on the soil of my garden.  Rain, no single drop heard, but every drop counting.

I smiled like a child beneath a mothers blanket, smiling at the monsters rage.  I thought of my mother and the blankets she had made for me, the reassuring soft whoosh of the cloth landing against my chest, and the gentle voice reassuring me there are no such thing as monsters while hands tucked the sides in.  I knew there were monsters.  But I knew I had just been given Magic straight from the Queen herself, and that was as good as banishment to my foes.

In the adjoining room my son’s quiet breathing rose and fell.  His needs fill up most days, his comfortable respiration allowed me to move on, knowing the frequent pain he felt was at bay.  This watch-tower was secure, I patrolled on through the night.

I thought to sort through the business of the upcoming day.  In addition to my profession’s demands, Friday is a day to prepare, to put my house in order and make sure I am free to worship un-interrupted on my Sabbath.  I’m not a church-goer by any stretch, and my worship would probably not satisfy even the most liberal doctrine-minded of the saints.  But the act of Friday preparation is deeply engrained, a childhood tradition that connects me to a Greater Consciousness.  I cling to it like a lost sailor,  riding my galleon of gathered debris, picking up bedraggled mates amidst smoke and ruin.  But I prepare nonetheless.  A list of tasks was made and forgotten.  It would never keep till morning.


The glowing digits illuminate a few inches of the night stand’s edge.  One of the early log trucks broke the stillness, lumbering onto the highway a quarter mile away, and then waltzing its way through its gearing to fade into the upper valley, and eventually the hills themselves.  My eyes, drawn to the sound, think heavily on the faint glow through the slats on the blinds.  The full moon has broken through the clouds, a mother checking her child through a cracked door.  I pretend to be a sleep, and vaguely wonder why I am not asleep. The gentle voice of the earth repeats its quieting mantra – one that the light of day drowns out.

The rain returns, showering the brick walkway, and the garden soil, the lawn.  It showers my consciousness.

And it showers my unconsciousness.  Peace, watered and nourished, begins to grow, in a space otherwise forgotten and fertile in my head.



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