Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rainy Days

It never got past twilight today. It never moved beyond steel gray this rainy day. Wet. Soggy. Drippy. Depressing.

As my father tells it, when I was a toddler and it was raining when he came to get me up and dressed, I would clap my hands saying, "Oh goody! It's waining!" He always found it fascinating that a little one could find such excitement in a day that caused most the blues. It was also a moment for him to give thanks because as a crippled man, he felt blessed that his child could stay still for hours instead of a very active child with whom he couldn't have kept pace.

After we worked to get me dressed, which took awhile since he couldn't bend to help and little fingers don't work that well, I'd hop down from the bed and go to kneel in the window seat of Dad's bedroom. I don't remember the getting dressed part, but I do have a shadow of a memory of sitting in that window seat and watching out the window onto the busy streets of Baltimore. Our apartment over the restaurant was a great vantage point to look down on the world. I still love that metal smell that blooms at the very start of a rainstorm.

The rain would blip against the window and splash on the ledge. I'd watch raindrops race down the glass. What I remember is the heat coming up from the window seat as it was actually the cover to a radiator. Toasty. I'd curl my legs under and watch as the asphalt morphed into black glass. The shine of brake lights making momentary red patches on the wet streets was magical.

I enjoyed the Number 10 bus trundling around the corner and making a quick fountain of the water standing in the gutters. I loved the rooster tails of water that followed cars racing to beat the red light. The swishing sound that each made when traveling by. And, it was always fascinating to watch what pieces of flotsam the rushing waters pulled into the storm drains. I saw a pinky ball disappear down the drain in a storm once...very, very sad! Those cost a whole ten cents!

On my long ago rainy days, people walked with galoshes on. Kids wore yellow slickers with brass clasps that snapped closed and matching hats making them look like miniature fishermen. Most couldn't resist stamping in the puddles occasionally. Large black umbrellas bobbed along. Proper gentlemen always wore hats and those helped to keep faces relatively dry. On really rainy days, you could watch water stream off the hats much like you see in cowboy movies....

There was always a lot to see on the corners of Howard & 27th Streets where I grew up. And, I consider how far I've come from that spot in Baltimore. I also wonder how far I've come in life to arrive at a point where it's harder now to find enthusiasm for a rainy day. Is it the process of growing older? Or, do I simply need to dig deeper to uncover my ability to find joy in the simple things? How do I find my way back to the place of, "Oh goody, it's raining!"?

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Eileen said...

Holly ... just reading this particularly beautiful piece has been the ray of sunshine in my now rainy, dreary, gray day here. In these difficult days, there may be a sense that we all feel ... that we need to dig deeper to find what little happy places there are ... as you said, the ones we so easily found in our youth. Your blog is helping me find the way and I thank you.

teachable said...

"You can't have a rainbow without the rain..."

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