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That’s the thing about walking on the grass after the rain; your shoes always get wet. S had recently merged his two naps into one, which means we’re all a bit confused about what a day should look like. It had finally stopped raining, and we went for a walk in Port Meadow. It was quiet. The horses were out that morning, and there was a jogger and an old man with his enthusiastic dog. A new sign was up, cautioning people against approaching the horses, and I immediately drew a mental picture of a panicking horse. But the horses always seem so calm to me; I wonder if something happened recently.

The uneven ground was soggy after the rain, and we had to go around tiny puddles between the grass. The walk toward the pond in the middle of the meadow took longer than usual. I’m always amazed when the pond appears in Winter; it’s not really a pond though, just a large puddle of rain that gathers as the temperature drops and the days become shorter. But as the “pond” appears so do ducks and birds, rustling their feathers in the water as if they’ve been there all along. Sometimes the herd of horses moves closer to the water, drinking or grazing, the sun setting in the far distance.

But as we move into Spring and Summer, the water dries, and the space of the land is covered with grass and flowers with names I may never know. But I actually prefer Port Meadow in the Winter, with its crisp air and unique sense of alert stillness that only exists in the cold; the long Summer days are often filled with exhausting excitement, mostly from students finishing their exams and assignments, followed by noise followed by restless sleep.

And so we walked for a bit, but soon the wind became a bit too much, giving S a runny nose. I wiped his face, adjusted his wool hat, and decided it was time to turn back. It was almost noon, still a couple of hours to go before his nap time. I thought again about what our days would look like now that we’ve moved on into this next stage, and how I could move my other commitments around to fit it.

I’ve never been good with change, and I may never be. But here’s the thing about adjustment: sometimes, your mind takes the first step, and the heart will follow. I think about the body of water that is now behind us as we head home for a hot drink and some warm food, my walking shoes now wet. In a few months, it would disappear again and reappear a while after that; but by the time it does, we’d all have become different versions of ourselves, and that can be a wonderful thing.

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