It is dark and the air heavy with impending rain this school morning. Even the bright kitchen lights don’t seem to cut the gloom. I help my daughter with her hair and get her breakfast. While she works on her oatmeal and toast, I make her sandwich and pack the rest of her lunch.
The clouds look like they could break open any moment as I drive slowly through the streets of our village, two minutes to Emmy’s school. Drops spatter on my windshield on the drive home, more fall as I turn into our driveway. I make it into the garage before the deluge.
Inside again I set my keys up on the shelf and kick off my shoes. There is no sound inside the house but the gentle ticking of the cuckoo clock in the dining room. Everything is neat and tidy. Rain falls outside, but I can’t hear it. Emmy says you can hear the rain on the roof of our ranch when it is coming down hard, but my hearing doesn’t extend to those sounds. Just the steady ticking of the clock. That I can hear.
I make my coffee and sit in the living room by the window, watching the leaden skies divest themselves of all the moisture they have stored. Rain drips from our Magnolia steadily.
Tick, tick, tick.
It is so dark in the room, I feel the sudden need for lamp light. My eyes roam the shelves where my many books sit patiently, waiting for me. Old friends, all of them. The piano where Emmy practices her first songs sits in the corner. But the old, black Steinway is silent this morning, awaiting small fingers at the end of the school day.
Tick, tick, tick.
No voices call out to me, no demands, no requests. Far away, Will is at college. Downtown, Tom is at work. Down the street, Emmy is busy at school. And I am alone in my house in the quiet and peace. Sitting by the window. Watching the rain come down, the soft tick of my clock keeping time.