After a week or two of rainy days, we finally had a brief few days of sunshine. They didn’t come all at the same time but were welcome none the less. Yesterday was one of those. Well, it wasn’t raining anyway. The sky was cloudy and overcast but there was no precipitation falling from the sky and I could go without a coat. So I decided to put on a light sweater and make the most of the afternoon after my morning errands were run. I took my camera and I went to the park.
We have several parks in my town and a long walking path called the Greenway where you can pretty much walk through two-thirds of the city. I chose Fletcher Park because it usually isn’t as crowded and there are more wild spots left. If I wanted to drive further I could have gone to one of the nearby National Parks, but yesterday was just about relaxing for a few hours. I didn’t have time for a full-blown exploratory adventure. I just wanted some down time with nature.
Today the chill is back in the air and the overcast skies are pelting the world with cold rain once again. The brief respite has allowed some of the flood waters in the area to recede just a little but I am afraid that won’t last long the way the rain is falling today. The forecast for the rest of the week looks just as gloomy. The squirrels and other animals will once again be safe from my amateur paparazzi attempts for some time.
You know how in stories they always say the wind “howled” or “wailed” or “moaned”? For a long time, I considered that a literary device; a way of staging the scene. Then I moved into the house I live in now.
It has been several years but I still haven’t gotten used to the way the wind cries as it whips past my house. I don’t know what causes it. It could be the shape of the house or the configuration of trees in the yard. It could be some hollowed out limb capturing the air as it passes over the branches. I do know that I am secretly thrilled every time I hear it.
Surely it is supposed to be a frightening sound, especially at night to hear the wind wail and moan as it shakes the wind chimes on the porch. You can almost track the sound as if some escaped spector is gliding over the porch and around the corner of the house. It makes me think of Irish cottages made of stone and thatch. It makes me think of fireplaces, warm drinks, and stories told in warning or to keep the dark at bay.
This is all pure imagination of course. I have never even stepped foot into a stone house but I’ve read about them. I’ve read the fairy stories and I’ve watched movies. There is no Baen Side (banshee) calling outside my window, or at least not that I’ve noticed. (If there was she would be extremely frustrated by now, as I have lived here for at least seven years and I’ve listened to the wail off and on that entire time. Or maybe she is happy someone appreciates her singing. Who knows?)
It is supposed to rain today. And tomorrow. And the rest of the week. There will be flooding. The sky is overcast gray and the wind is shaking the still bare branches of the trees as well as dancing among my wind chimes. I expected the rain to be pouring down by now from the way the weather forecasters spoke. The ground is damp so some moisture has been squeezed from the clouds, just none that I’ve noticed.
The animals have been on edge since last night. Today they are restless, last night they were on self-imposed guard duty. They paced the hall and watched from the window. Panda, my cat, finally settled enough to sleep but only because she curled up on my pillow and snuggled into my hair.
Last night the air was still and black. No stars shone and the porch light didn’t seem to reach as far as usual. The silence was eerie. To me, that becalmed, breathless, starless darkness was way more unsettling than the howling wind today.
I didn’t think I would have time for a blog post this morning. I rolled out of bed less than ten minutes ago and already there is a long list of things to be accomplished today. I thought my blog just might be one of those things toward the bottom that I didn’t get to cross off.
Then I let the dog out to do his business. As his tiny paws padded down the front steps, I tossed the stray cats a scoop of dry food.(Yes, I know. That is why they keep coming around, but I have a hard time letting anything go hungry.) I stood back up from my furry soup kitchen and was caught in the face by a breeze. It teased me with the coming of rain.
Instead of calling the dog and going back inside to start my busy day, I sat down on the steps and took a moment. I felt the cool air and breathed in damp promises. I listened to the sighing of the trees and just enjoyed the quiet dark. I was only a moment. Just one tiny stolen fraction of my day. But it filled me up with peace.
Taking time out for those stolen moments is something I don’t do enough of. It is necessary though. That time increment of time listening to the stories of the wind will carry me through the rest of the day.
I was sitting on the couch a little while ago with a cat in my lap, another cat on the arm of the couch, and a hot cup of coffee in my hand. Thunder boomed outside and rain pounded down on my tin roof. Content and peaceful I didn’t want to move but I had to get up and get ready for work.
I am ready to head out the door now. The rain is pounding down but now it doesn’t seem as pleasing as it was before. Now the echo of thunder is more ominous. I hate driving in the rain. Driving in the dark and in the rain is even worse.
Once I do get to work there will still be the sound of rain on a tin roof. I have to spend the night upstairs sorting overstock, so that roof will be right over my head. Somehow I don’t think the sound of rain on the roof at work will bring the same feelings as rain on the roof of my home.
Well it’s Monday. The steady patter of rain outside my window keeps telling me to go back to bed. But I’ve been up since 5:30am so it’s a little too late for that. My brain is already awake, well mostly.
It is one of those lovely rainy days. The kind where it isn’t too muggy or too cold and I can open all the windows. The kind where I can drink either warm tea or iced tea and still be perfectly comfortable. The kind where I don’t have anything incredibly pressing to do so I can just stay at home and enjoy it. (Well there are some over due library books to return, but I don’t have to do that right now.)
My neck is stiff from how I slept last night. So that adds to my lack of enthusiasm. I’ve got some blog posts to read, a short story to write, and a book to edit. So it isn’t like I am just being lazy. I feel lazy though. Better than being stressed. I think I will go sit on the porch for awhile…
I am feeling a little under the weather today. I ran a low grade fever most of yesterday and all of last night. I blame the weather. We haven’t seen the sun in weeks. My front porch steps are growing green stuff. (no joke)
You would think all of this time stuck in doors would mean I could concentrate on my writing. While I will admit I have made some head way on a book I’ve been working on for some time, the rest of the time I spend wishing I could go outside.
Though there are pauses in the rain the air is so saturated with moisture that it is hard to tell. One day the sun will return, it is just that no one knows when. Even the cats have given up and said: screw the rain we’re goin’ out anyway.
I am going to try to be more on time with my blog post. Which means I am going to attempt a schedule, since up until now I’ve just posted whenever I feel like it. Not to say that won’t still happen, but I am going to pick a day every week where I will post regularly. I thought that day was going to be Thursdays until I forgot this week. So we will try Mondays instead. The kids typically go to Summer Reading on Mondays so that should help me remember.
Right now I have so many tabs open on my computer that when I click on one I lose the one I was on previously. I should be writing. I had planned on it. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. Mostly it’s because I’ve been doing other things.
Yeah, the trash did need to be taken to the curb, laundry needed to be started before it takes over the hall, and a cup of tea is a necessity for such a wet day, but those things take about ten minutes to start or accomplish. It doesn’t explain away almost three hours.
I’ve been posting funny pics to facebook, searching for a Christmas present for my sister/awesome beta reader, and I ran a virus scan on the kids computer because my ten year old downloaded something. A Christmas present needs to be found and the computer needed to be scanned but those things didn’t have to be done right now.
In fact, even this post didn’t have to be done right now. I have no focus today. Time to put on my writing hat and get to serious work…right after I make another cup of tea…