With the turning of another calendar page, we enter the third month of learning to enjoy staying home, to relish having conversations with ourselves, and of wondering if we are any closer to the end of these unprecedented times than we were the last time a calendar page was turned. I sure wish I could think of a better word than “unprecedented” to use to describe these past few months. The word has been used too much, but descriptive words must be that: descriptive. I can’t come up with anything better to describe the saga of the year 2020 thus far.
I spent an enjoyable time in my rocking chair on my front porch this past week watching a beautiful rain fall. There was no thunder and lightning, just rain; sometimes heavy, sometimes “gentle.” Listening to the sound that only a falling rain can make caused me to be covered in a very peaceful feeling. I sat there for more than an hour enjoying that calming symphony of raindrops sent from Heaven.
As I sat, rocked, and listened to the rhythm of the rain I pondered the thought of how I have always loved such weather. Many times, I have tried to think back to something or sometime in my life that would have caused me to love rain so much. I have not figured it out. I just know I like it; always have. I suppose I always will. Despite my love of rain, I recall challenges when too much of it fell. Some “rain memories” even cause me to cringe.
Those memories are from my school years when I rode bus number 60. Back then we did not travel on one single road that was black topped until we left Gravel Springs headed for Hamilton. The one bridge on our bus route was a rickety wooden structure that would moan as our bus load of students crossed over it. When we had lots of rain, the creek that ran underneath the bridge would cover the old rickety structure completely. On those days it was impossible to see the bridge. We crossed it “by guess.”
Our bus driver would slowly drive the bus up to where he thought (hoped . . . prayed) the bridge was located. Then he would press the accelerator to the floor and away we’d go. Blessed relief flooded our souls when we felt the firmness under the bus telling us we were on those old boards that would carry us to the other side.
Sometimes the water was so deep our bus driver would warn us that the bus might stall in the muddy water. By then water would be oozing in under the doors of the bus. To those of us who rode on that bus five days a week, we knew if we had heavy rain, that bridge would be flooded. Our driver maneuvering the bus by guess was normal. I don’t ever remember being scared. I do remember silently praying that the bus would not stall going through that deep, roaring water that flooded the bridge, the woods and all the pastureland as far we could see in front and on either side of us.
In all the years we crossed that bridge in wet weather, our bus never did stall. Our driver’s guess work was always on target. There were times that our feet got a bit damp when the water swooshed under the bus doors and sloshed down the aisle. None of us panicked. Such a school bus ride was a part of our lives; a part of being raised on country sunshine and watered by rain that fell – sometimes in abundance.
Last week, I rode bus number 60 across that old rickety wooden bridge again as I rocked and listened to the rain on my front porch. I enjoyed the ride very much. My bus didn’t stall, and I crossed the bridge just fine “by guess.”