Storm Chaser

It happens this way, sometimes. A cold afternoon; an ominous evening wind.

The door to the apartment swept open without hurry, and I turned. There was no one there. I checked the locks, then closed it.

A few minutes passed. The twice-locked door crept open once more, soundlessly beckoning. My curiosity stirred. I turned to the door, and looked past it.

There it was – an unusual guest. A thousand rain drops, framed in the doorway, and flinging themselves hard against the cement of my quiet, orderly Tuesday. I stepped towards the threshold, and realized it was hail. White ice beat down upon my head amidst the rain and wind. My toes curled into my sandals, letting me know that I had stepped outside without notice; letting me know I was not well-attired for this adventure.

But who can say “No,” when the wind pushes open a twice-locked door?

My heart began to beat strange and fast in an old, familiar rhythm. With growing urgency I pulled off my sandals and slipped my toes into the first shoes I could find. I pulled off the raincoat from its dusty hanger and drew the hood up and over the ice crystals melting in my hair.

I could hear it; that endless calling. That song that lives in our souls and occasionally demands to be freed.

The storm was moving west, and I followed it. The roads shone in the dwindling golden light like rivers, reflecting the sparkling fairy lights that danced above them in the breeze. Sheets of rain tumbled from the rooftops in great waterfalls. There were no safe paths to tread. Water thundered down the streets, flooding the gutters in torrential rapids that needed to be leapt. Twice my human body failed me, plunging my feet knee deep in frozen water. The wolf in my heart shook it off, and we pressed on.

Onward; where the skies dreamed in every shade of amethyst and rose behind gentle pillars of dove grey clouds. Onward, as the hail fell harder and the rain began to soak through my skin, settling deep into my bones. Onward, as my senses remembered what water smells like; as my spirit unfolded to the memories of the wilderness and the woods, and the great open grassy plains of other lives.

We burst from the concrete forest, where the houses towered like ancient trees and blocked us from the sun. We ran onto the open esplanade and stood at the water’s edge, just in time to watch the amber sun sink beneath the slate grey waves; descending eternally, always to rise again.

The rains left me. I watched them travel west without me, falling down upon the creviced waves until that sound too had passed, and all that remained was the gentle roar of the pulsing ocean. Other humans came out from their homes, too late to see the sunset that had seemingly painted the skies only for me and the rest of us with wolves in our hearts that cannot resist the call when we hear it. Soaked and shivering, the wind gathered against me with one final breath, lifting my spirit over the water, out to the west, chasing the storm forever in my breast.

Welcome back, it seemed to say. Welcome back to this wild and untamed life.

Then all was quiet again.

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