It’s been a wet November. Just like May and June. Rain, rain, rain. I was able to go to my daughter’s track meet this last spring. The fields were wet. The sand for the long jump was wet. Landing a jump in the wet sand was like landing on a concrete sidewalk. Teeth jarring, knee wrenching, back spasming cold comfort.
The grass was wet. The bleachers were wet. The kids were wet. Their socks and shoes were scattered throughout the melee, abandoned in the rain. Washed up refugees fleeing for dryer land who inadvertently beached in the detritus of broken track meet glory.
I was watching the dashes. 50 metre, 100 metre. The kids would come splashing through the top corner, those on the inside lane getting the worst of it. Water up to their knees, slowing them down. They were pushing hard, resisting the watery fingers cajoling them to Davy Jones’ locker, then they would break free and speed to the finish line.
One little girl came through that tough spot, around the last corner, finish line in sight. She was dead last. She was holding her side and crying. Side stitch revenge. Her coach ran along side her, telling her she could do it! The little girl sobbed, “No, I can’t!” the coach said, “Yes! You can!”.
And she did. She made it. She ran to the finish. She wasn’t anyone one I knew and yet, in that moment, I loved that little girl.