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When Life Gives You Puddles… Jump

by Arthur H. Gunther III

As this sultry New York summer comes to a close, with what few hot, humid days we have left, don’t avoid puddles. They instantly cool your soles and so give you reason not to give up the exercise walk that is keeping you physically fit but also sane in the restricted time of virus.

When you are young–or when some of us were–you aim for the puddles. You might also play with mud, casting little buildings not unlike Pueblo Native Americans or early settlers daubing over chinked logs to stave off a bit of the winter cold.

So, not avoiding the puddles, really or metaphorically, helps you accomplish something: as a kid, passing time, being creative, staying out of your mom’s way; as an adult, building shelter. Either way, don’t avoid the puddles.

Walkers will tell you the best time to do so is in light rain. Umbrella or not, there is an insulating quality about it, your own security blanket of falling water that enables you to amble even in a crowd, your being, your thoughts protected. Each puddle you jump over is an accomplishment.

Many photographs capture reflections of buildings caught in puddles, as if we can contain urban life and not be overwhelmed by its impersonal hugeness. It also makes for a pretty picture. 

As it is with all simple things in a life that can be so complicated, with worries, with challenges, with ups and downs, an ordinary puddle (are there any other kind?) can be the reset button.

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The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com. You can find his writing at thecolumnrule.com. 


Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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