Day 81: Celebrate Nature :Lure a fly on to this page and swat it here.
I can’t find anything celebratory about killing a fly. And I think this is actually the second time in this book they have asked you to kill an insect. Hrrmph.
In an effort to “celebrate nature” today I did snap a quick picture out my office door. But a picture can’t capture the sound of the thunderstorm that is rolling through Chapel Hill right now, or the way the thunder claps combine with Simon & Garfunkel’s 59th Street Bridge Song to make for a beautiful morning.
I put a fair amount of effort in to enjoying an average rainy day. Rainy days are not my favorite. I am a sunshine fan, but without the rainy days you can’t appreciate the days with the sun on your face quite the same way.
But a thunderstorm? I have no trouble enjoying a thunderstorm. The way the air is warmer and cooler all at once. Early to mid 1980s – Sitting in the trunk of our car, the seats folded down, the scent of sleeping bags and popcorn combine with the smell of the rain. My parents would pull the car up to the very edge of our garage, our steep driveway allowing it to feel like we would fall off the edge of the universe if we jumped from the car’s warm, dry trunk in to the rain.
I learned to appreciate a thunderstorm on those summer evenings. More often than not by the time we got our sleeping bags arranged just so, our stuffed animals lined up, our pillows fluffed up, our popcorn popped… the storm would be nearly passing. But we enjoyed the process, the process of getting ready to enjoy the storm that pulled us in from the back yard, or off of our bicycles early that evening. Similarly, anyone with small children knows that if the lights go out, simply bring in wood for the fireplace, gather around the hearth and get ready to roast marshmallows with a favorite book. Your power will come back on as soon as you get settled. I think I learned a lot about embracing the unexpected, finding the joy in the small moments, from those evenings sitting in the trunk of that shitty station wagon.
Like so much of my adult life… it’s balance. I’ll take a rainy day. Because the sunshine is always right around the corner.
You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
Rain used to be a thorn in my side when I lived in VA. Now that I am in the mountains of CA and it rains maybe 2 or 3 times a summer, they are great to watch. I am on the 4th floor of my building at a ski resort, and can see storms rolling in from far away. Waves of rain in the distance and when they finally come close, it dissipates into nothing and evaporates before it gets to us. Occasionally, we get a huge downpour and it reminds me of the storms back east, for a short moment and then it’s gone. Nothing beats watching storms from the beach though. That is definitely an experience that is hard to beat, watching the lightning over the ocean. I also remember all the heat lightning on drives home from Kings Dominion. I miss thunderstorms out here since we don’t have them, but when I came back to VA for a week and it rained almost every day, I realized that I don’t really miss them all that much. My memory of rain and thunderstorms is far more romantic than the storms actually happening consistently.
Heat lightning on the way home from KD… now THAT brings back some old memories.
Em says last night “Why are you having wine with dinner tonight, Mom?”
I replied “Because it is raining.”
Yup, one brain, we share.
Oh Kelly – i feel your melancholy fight. I don’t generally mind the rain too much unless it is cold rain. But it can get me down. But Thunderstorms! Those i dig. I generally employ the same method to fight the first and celebrate the second. Sketches of Spain and The Sun also Rises. (A little glass of red may be utilized in the proper circumstance as well :)_ )
We may have to do (or re-do) an Eliot talk. I never really vibed well with any Eliot except for Prufrock.
And – congrats to you for both sticking with the book that changes lives, and not letting it mung up your convictions with the needless slaughter of insets and annoying or criminal behavior towards food service personnel.