The weather in Arkansas can be lot like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates. “You never know what you're gonna get.” The old-timers used to say, “If you don’t like it (the weather) wait a few minutes and it will change.”
Yesterday brought that home to me, in aces. I left our downtown condo to go “fat walking” as the storms had seemingly moved out of Little Rock and headed east. The sun was shining in resplendency and all seemed well. Maybe Spring was here at last.
As I headed north along my established route, all seemed well. Nearing the river, though, I did see a dark mass of clouds to the distant northwest and far from any concern of mine.
Proceeding on, I lost myself deep in thought, failing to notice that there were none of the other usual participants along the route, no joggers, no angry bicyclists, no other wanderers at all. I had the walking paths, the wetlands walk, and then the Clinton Library bridge all to myself.
On the bridge now, and returning from the North Little Rock side, I stopped to photograph a striking view of the Little Rock skyline—a striking sight at any time. Then it happened.
There is a magnificent passage in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in which the orchestra takes us from deep rumblings of darkness to a crescendo of sunlight in a matter of seconds. At this moment, for me, it happened in reverse.
Before I reached the foot of the bridge, I almost had to hang to the iron work to keep the wind from blowing me down. A huge dark cloud sped over me from behind and I saw drops of moisture spotting the walkway ahead.T
"Oh dear," I thought. Then the hail hit.
I say “hail” for I simply refuse to allow the possibility that I was being pelted by sleet—even in Arkansas—on the 8th of April. Anyway, it was frozen and I was lucky, for it mostly bounced off me. I had a mile or so to get home so I “soldiered up.” Thanks for the times in my past when I had to take things as they existed and not as I would have wished them.
It wasn’t the best time of the day, but it offers a lesson, maybe many lessons. Folks should pay close attention to their surroundings. Life is full of surprises. It’s always nice to have a warm, dry home waiting for you. And, finally, there are times when you can have the place to yourself if you are willing to pay the price.
They say that when you “fat-walk” you should walk as though you are late for a meeting. I had no problem whatsoever meeting that standard yesterday.