Yes, there are moments when I wonder "Why are we doing this?" Like when it's raining, - and I don't mean an average soft sweet shower- but more like it's being poured out of an endless bucket, and it's cold and it's been that way all day and that New Hampshire highway has no shoulder, and everything is leaking from the rain coming down and the traffic splashing up, and your boots are more like wading pools, and you're worn out from lugging them along, and you curse every driver who comes a little to close, which means you're cursing everyone who splashes you by. Yes there are moments when I want to cry, "Why are we doing this?"
"Hi. Do you remember me?' She was sort of pretty. Her name was Mary. She wrote for a local newspaper. We met her yesterday. It was dry way back then. And the rain was not so heavy just now.
"Can I talk to you guys for a moment? "It's kind of important." It was a place where we could get off the road. So we did, and all of us in our rain gear got closer together so we could hear through the rain and the traffic on the road.
"Do you remember me telling you about my brother?" I did. She had said he was dead. And as a poet she hadn't been able to write in the months since it happened. "But what I didn't tell you "was that he dreamed of doing "something like you're doing. "He wanted to see the world "slowly, softly, close up "and personal. "But he didn't get to do that."
The shower intensified as she pulled her hand from under her slicker. As she extended her clinched fist toward us, she said, "If you tell me no, "I will understand." Then she opened her fist to reveal a silver locket, as she explained, "In this locket "are some of my brother's ashes. "Would you take them with you "so he can live his dream too?"
Yes, there have been times when I have cried in the rain. But never have I cried so sweetly as I did right then. Yes there are times when I wonder, "Why are we doing this?" But not there. Not then, in that rain. Right there, right then, I knew why.