The magic of yellow rain boots

I saw yellow rain boots on a young woman the other day; yellow rain boots on a snowy, cold March day.
Yellow rain boots—the only bit of colour in the dull, dreary days of pre-spring when our whole bodies seem to be aching for sunshine and grass under our feet and ponies shedding their heavy winter coats.
Yellow rain boots call to the sun to come and play. Don’t be shy, the yellow rain boots say. Come out, come out.
Yellow rain boots. Do you own a pair? Oh, how I wish I did. Yellow rain boots are on my list of coveted possessions.
I used to have a pair. A hundred years ago. I bought them at Betty’s. They were of Scandinavian descent, if my memory can be trusted. Bright yellow, with a cheerful band of blue around the sole.
I loved those boots. Seems to be a weakness of mine; an addiction to footwear on a long list of addictions: fresh bread spread thick with butter (though I’m trying not to eat wheat), dandelions, piano music not cluttered with voice, marbles in a jar on the counter, brown eggs, “Gracie” sleeping on my feet—not at but on.
Yellow rain boots are joy. You can’t gaze at yellow rain boots and not feel a smile erupt, so don’t even bother to try.
Yellow rain boots are laughter; an invitation to run through puddles no matter your age.
Yellow rain boots are spring, no matter the month. Yellow rain boots don’t have any rules, plain and simple.
I walk Gracie every morning down the hill behind us, through the trees, and out on to an old, fairly stagnant gravel pit.
Most mornings I trudge, a scarf pulled over my nose, my hood pulled down tight, my eyes on my feet, watching for icy patches. I often forget to look up, to listen, to breathe in deeply and to notice the breeze on my cheeks, cold or otherwise.
If I had yellow rain boots on, I think I just might skip, bounce even, my feet suddenly light and cheerful. And then I would notice the five deer that bound away, their huge fluffy tails waving at me, springs in their feet, their movement magical.
Gracie never notices (she’s not the brightest bulb). She won’t be getting a job with some canine police unit, some crackerjack sniffing-out position anytime soon. She’s far more interested in what she can find on the ground, buried in the snow and grasses, some disgusting rotting thing she can roll in.
When I look beyond my feet, I see the myriad of tracks in the snow—the evidence that reminds me we share this space.
I see where wings have swooped down and snatched something from the snow, leaving just barely an imprint; a brushing with its precision flying, and the smaller tracks end, abruptly, their time used up.
I see tracks I can’t identify and those of large rabbits or hares that most definitely were in a hurry “for a very important date”.
If I tip my face up, I actually can taste the breeze, with its fresh smells and flavours. And then when I do look up, I often see a golden eagle that flies overhead, her broad brown wings with their distinguishing square appearance and a wingspan on average from six to seven-and-a-half feet.
The pale gold on the back of her crown is really quite extraordinary.
Golden eagles mate for life and I fear she has lost her partner because she is always alone, gliding effortless on the wind, undoubtedly searching for her breakfast “take out.”
Yellow rain boots invite mud, snow, sleet, rain; they tackle it all, are not afraid of any kind of weather except maybe 50-below temperatures. We’ve all got our limits.
When I don’t wear yellow rain boots, I am prone to missing these wonders so I’ve decided here, right this minute, that yellow rain boots must become part of my uniform; the standard issue equipment to make certain that every day starts out a good one.
Then, who knows what can happen? The possibilities endless.
wendistewart@live.ca

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