This year

Published 8:50 am Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This year . . .

A couple will experience their first grandchild. He will have 10 fingers and 10 toes. And hair. He will open his eyes and see this world. His grandparents will set their eyes on him for the first time. Everything will change.

An October sun will slip behind a thin cloud just before it disappears for the evening. It will send a ray a thousand miles into the sky that captures the eye of mortals trudging home from the workplace. For one brief moment, they will forget exhaustion, pressure and responsibilities and say, as if in chorus, “Ah!”

A woman will receive a phone call from a doctor. He will say, “We received the test results. You do not have cancer.”

A young man will close his trembling eyes, lengthen his neck, bend over at the waist, tighten his lips and touch them to the soft, moist, supple, enchanting lips of a woman. Something will start at that point of contact and run through his body. It will cartwheel in his brain, seep into his pores and pounce upon his heart. His hands will sweat, and the soles of his feet will rise as her aroma wafts into his senses and transports him to a place, a world, a destination he has never encountered. He will want it to last forever.

A husband will take out the trash without being asked.

A dog will lick a 5-year-old’s face.

A woman will encounter God. Not some sentimental image or impotent being. Not some unengaged force or irrelevant idea. But a real, live, engaging, powerful person at work in her world in astounding and marvelous ways.

A whitetail deer will bound across a country road at night. And not be hit by a car.

A woman will cry. Not because she is in pain. Not because she has lost someone close. Not because of struggles or hopelessness or despair. She cries because her son has come home for Christmas.

Right at the time peanuts are pegging or cotton is blooming or corn is tasseling, a farmer — somewhere, someplace — will receive a long, slow, drenching rain that sounds like a symphony. He will dance in his heart.

The year 2011 will be a good one.

Rex Alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His e-mail address is