Back in my childhood, when it rained we had to stay indoors. Something that, quite frankly, I don't think bothers kids these days. But for us it was sheer torture. We had no computers, video games, pay for view movies or 24 hour television designed just for kids. Other than some after school programming during the week, we had to wait until (shudder!) Saturday morning to watch t.v.!! "OMG! LOL! WTH? How did you survive?" We grabbed our "BFF's" (which sometimes constituted everyone in the neighborhood) and ran and romped in woods and creeks and playgrounds. So, obviously, a rainy day meant no fun.
The scariest part of rainy days was the dread that parents would find something constructive for you to do. "You could clean your room." "You could help me string some beans for supper." "You can fold towels." Kill me now! I always wondered why, given these painful circumstances, it was so obvious my mother loved a rainy day. She said it all the time, how much she loved a rainy day. I can see her now,drinking her coffee with no television, no radio - just sitting by the big window in the living room with that cup of coffee watching it rain. She'd watch birds shake feathers and dry off in the trees. She'd watch squirrels curl up in tight little balls on branches waiting until it quit. Somtimes she was reading books by that big window. Books that, more often than not, had Agatha Christie's name on the front. What was it about a dark day that caused one to go on a mission to finish the book and find out "who done it"??
I am now 48 years old. I'm spending most of my time stepping and fetching for a nickel. I think a lot about a lot of things that I never used to think about. Things like where I've been, mistakes I've made, mistakes I haven't made. Things like decisions that worked and decisions that exploded. And things like tomorrow? Oh dear GOD what is tomorrow going to bring?? I think about all the nieces and nephews that I love so much...as much as I would if they were my own. Every time I see any of them, they're either grown or at the age where they now know just how goofy their uncle really is. They're having children of their own, for God's sake! If they're that old, well then I'm, uh... Sleep is sometimes interrupted by these very same thoughts.
And here I now sit, staring out a window on a rainy Tuesday, taking a lunch break from my workday (and the aforementioned "stepping and fetching.") No television, no radio. Just a cup of coffee and a snoring labrador retriever at my feet. Rain's washing the red clay and the grass and the world looks cleaner than it did yesterday. There's a big robin hiding under the patio furniture waiting on a dry moment to pick at the grass and find something delicious for lunch. The chipmunk that lives in the hole by the fence just stuck out its head and crawled back in - smart animal. I feel my blood pressure dropping. I feel like a nap for lunch instead of a turkey sandwich or running errands. I might just pour another cup and start a book I recently purchased. Or I might just sit here and keep staring until it's time to start making those nickels again. In short, Mama, I now understand what you saw in a rainy day.