© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Waterwall

As an elementary school tot I’d walk to and from the bus stop at the end of our street every morning and afternoon. With velcro shoes, a nylon jacket, and my backpack, I’d complete my daily circuit along with my brother and friends from the neighborhood. But one humid Spring afternoon as we stepped off of the school bus, something was different in the air.

As we looked ahead, past our houses, past the creek, and beyond the farmer’s field, the sky was dark. The leaves on the big maples flipped upside down, exposing their silvery underbellies.¬†Somewhere in the distance thunder rumbled. The thick, metallic smell of rain was in the air.

As we walked west down our quiet street, we laughed and joked and played like it was any other day. During a lull in our conversation I heard something in the distance, a droning like a far off lawnmower or maybe distant bullfrogs in the meadow.

But it wasn’t. It was something different. As I looked ahead down our street I saw the source of the hum. I’d never seen anything like it before or since.

A thick wall of rain was steadily marching towards us. Though it was still two dozen houses away, the wall looked like a hundred sprinklers metronoming loomingly towards us.

Another clap of thunder.

The half dozen kids that I was with scattered. Running for trees or under the awnings of our neighbors houses. But not me. I took a deep breath, zipped up my jacket, squinted my eyes, and ran as fast as I could. Straight for the wall. I cut down the distance in great strides as the torrent inched ever nearer.

In a slow motion, titanic clash I leaped into the wall and didn’t slow until I came dripping through the side door of our house a few moments later. I shed my shoes and jacket and made it to the front picture window in time to see my friends soggily running down the street towards their homes.

By the time Tim arrived home sopping wet, I was already changed, warm and dry.

By running straight towards the rain, I’d cut down the distance and the time that the shower had to get me wet. It turns out that sometimes facing the adversary head on is the best way to stay high and dry.

3 Comments

  1. Mum
    Posted June 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm | #

    Great blog. Love this picture! My little Canadian superhero.

  2. Ruth Anne Henault
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm | #

    You were ready for anything in that picture – Could have been prepared for the water wall, bike-mounted or water polo, regular hockey or just general superhero duties!

  3. Aaron Atkinson
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm | #

    Always prepared! I actually remember the outfit in this picture, and the only problem was that it was quite a challenge to pedal with a hockey stick wedged down my shorts.

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