Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Rain on Beeching Lane.

Is there anything in this world drearier than Beeching Lane under the heavy clouds of an Autumn rain? Just walk down the pavement with umbrella in hand and feel the essence of goodness and the love of life seep from your soul. You’ll soon do what other pedestrian are doing - clutching your jacket over your heart to slow the advancing gloom. You’ll instinctively speed your step and seek shelter before the light which makes you human is caught away by the mist and cold rain.

Only the bravest among us are willing to risk so much, and so we wait in the shops and church for the siege to lift and the sun to find its way back into the sky. Look at the picture above and see the nearly empty street except for a few at the far end of the Lane. They are the ones that ignore the obvious and seek danger whenever possible because of a misguided belief in their immortality. Yet, not even their youth can shield them from these surroundings. They will be different when they get home. Their loved ones will notice it first. They will say something or perhaps verbalize an unkindness that triggers the first of many questions from those that know them best.

“What’s wrong? Aren’t you feeling well?” A loved one will ask.
To which our brave but foolish Beeching Lane pedestrian will answer,” I’m fine and would appreciate it if you would mine your own business.”

Some at the dinner table will blame themselves for the dark mood hanging over their friend, wife, husband, or child - completely unaware that this person in their company stepped onto Beeching Lane during a Dark Storm.

Last week I saw the sign of an approachng Dark Storm while waiting at the bus stop outside Beeching Lane’s First Methodist Church. I stood on the curb, smelling the rain and watching the sky. White clouds drfted by. Gray clouds followed. And then, shade by shade, everything above my head faded to black.

I was determined not to miss my bus so I clutched my jacket and deployed my umbrella. A favorite hymn came to mind which I sang to lift my spirits. The last of the sun’s rays was blotted out by a carnivorous bank of depression that filled the sky up and down the lane. I watched dozens of my fellows dash for the nearest safe haven. Yet I waited and watched for the two headlights of an approaching bus.

The rain started and my defenses weakened. I heard someone shouting from behind me. I turned to look. Up at the top of the church’s stone steps stood the Preacher. One hand held one of the two solid oak church doors open. The other was waving at me.

“For God’s Sake, run!” I heard his voice punch its way through the rain. I turned one last time to look for a bus. Two lights appeared from the far end of the lane. It was the number 12 bus. I waved to the preacher and pointed toward the oncoming headlights. He gave me a thumbs up and slammed the door closed. The whole experience reminded me of the dear price we may be asked to pay for taking such risks.

I'm better now at checking the weather reports before planning my daily routines so I can take precautions not to be near Beeching Lane if rain is in the forecast.

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