No Words

I groaned when she asked, “Are we walking tonight?” 

My wife grabbed an umbrella while I tied my hiking boots.

Why did we wait so late? It’s 9:00 at night, and raining. The sun can’t make up its mind whether to shine or hide. But we go. Out the door, up the drive, past the duck pond. Locate the nesting geese. Make a left on Jayhawk–to the end.

Gray clouds and silence wrap the mountains and us. Silence is comfortable now. We’re not so silly anymore. No more digging for problems. No more wondering “What’s wrong?” or “He’s too quiet…” 

Walking is a substitute for words these days.

We met on this day in 1973. We breathe in fragrances of birch, roses, currants, willow, and horse cookies. I bump her, hoping that she plants a tennis shoe in the pile, but she dances over it like she’s 17. Not much has changed. I’m still a boy inside. She’s still my girl, and now she’s talking…

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