We step out in the darkness, a distant light reflecting off the puddle of water in the middle of our driveway. We skirt around it and walk leisurely out to the road. It is past nine in the evening. The lamp-posts in front of each home emits a dull glow. Fireflies wink in and out in the darkness. We walk side by side in companionable silence. Occasionally the silence is broken by observations. One day it is the sliver of the moon hanging low in the sky. Another day it is about the worms wriggling along the walking path. Some other days it is rehashing phone conversations.
I cherish this new ritual. Amma and I waiting for the day’s chores to be over. For kids to be in bed and fast asleep. For Saathi to take his spot on the couch in front of the TV. We set out in the darkness to claim our share of the day. A slice of time sans the pressures of daily living. A time to unwind and let go of the day’s low points. Time to chit chat, gossip and argue.
As we complete our walk and enter the stuffy garage, I realize what a treasure this chunk of time is. Somewhere over the past few years, the lines have blurred between parent, child and friend. I smile as I watch her bid good night and I turn to my laptop. It occurs to me as I tend to my email that some of the best things in life are simple. Like nightly jaunts with mom.