September 15, 2016

Slug on a wet wall

Leaves its shiny silver trail

Late summer downpour.

Some time in the middle of last night, I woke up to the sound of rain pounding on our rooftop and dripping off the gutters onto our barbecue, with a metallic tap-tap-tapping. I lay awake enjoying the unfamiliar music for a few minutes until the reassurance that our parched land was being fed at last soothed me back to sleep.

The rain kept falling all morning, and I walked my son Theo to school with our umbrellas held high dodging puddles and mini mudslides. It is a rare treat in our time of drought to get soaked through outside, especially after a hideous weeks’ long heat wave.

It was drizzling again this evening as my husband David brought Theo home from his soccer practice. Theo was chatting about something as he climbed the steps up towards the front door. Suddenly he let out a squeal. His hand had touched a slug on the wall. He ran up the stairs and into the house to wash his hands. He’s not used to such creatures, this child of semi-arid Los Angeles. The slug was still there when I set off thirty minutes later to leave yet another book in the Little Free Library. The book was one I have had for years but never used – a slim 1965 volume entitled Haiku in English.

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