A Beautiful Sign of Life

It was a soaking wet Sunday.

The kind where you come inside and your pants drip swimming pools on the floor.

But I wasn’t inside yet. I was outside taking one wet step after another in what the papers would later report was a record-breaking rainfall the likes of which hadn’t been seen this time of year since 1881.

My intention had been to take a morning walk. Brisk. Swift. Hot shower at the end. But the rain had other intentions. And I was sloshing and slow-stepping through the streets of northwest Brooklyn.

Streets which were, I might add, empty. No signs of life. Just rain falling down, down, down.

After 40 minutes of being alone in this, I was water-logged and tired and annoyed with this annoying rain.

I took a left up a hill towards home. And at the outer edge of my vision, there was movement. I looked over and saw the first sign of life I’d seen all soaking wet morning.

It was a thin man with a thick mustache in the window of a brick house. He was about to sit down. About to rest his elbows on the window sill. And, I suppose, about to watch this record-breaking rainfall.

But before he did any of that, he saw me. And he waved. So, I waved back. And that was all.

Except not quite. Because as I went on up the hill, I felt a little changed. A little less annoyed with this soaking wet Sunday. Like the street may be empty, but I wasn’t in it alone.

And I think it’s because a wave – just some tilts of the hand – says something beautiful to another person, which is: “I see you.”

True, some waves are quick and dismissive. But the best are proof that the hand’s actually a tool of the heart.

And when I got inside. As my pants dripped swimming pools on the floor. I was thinking that a wave is a beautiful sign of life.

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