Monday, February 21, 2011

Thoughts of a Rainy Day….

It's really raining now and I am very content sitting here in the dark... just listening. For me, desert rains are magical. Of course, I don't really have much experience with any other, but for me desert rains will always be special, regardless. There is something soothing about being surrounded in the warmth of blankets and listening to the steady rhythm of gentle rain. It takes me back to quieter times when the world, my world, slowed down, and of being wrapped in my mother's warmth. Rainy days provided respite, for both of us, from daily stresses, and provided a time to disengage, to live in the moment.
As a child, my mother would sit me in front of the sliding glass door in full view as she cleaned the kitchen. It was one of the few times it wasn't an effort for me to be still, one of the few times my mother didn't have to worry about me getting into anything or getting under foot. I was content to sit there for hours, content in her presence, just watching, totally mesmerized by the rain. To this day, the sound, cool dampness and smell of rain trigger physical memories synonymous with her…
At times, when life can be so much like the desert in terms of struggle and survival, routine and responsibilities, one day much the same as any other, a rainy day is cause to pause and ponder life's mysteries, to reflect and appreciate. Of course, I might feel differently if I was actually out in it. Maybe that's why I love it so, cocooned in warmth, I am protected from the cold realities of actually getting soaked. For me, rainy days are very much about being and feeling loved.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Red Robins…

I was still in college trying to graduate and seemed to be frustrated at every turn. I lived alone and spent most of my time working and going to school, in short, just trying to make ends meet and somehow lay a foundation for my future. In reality, I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do in the long run. I had big dreams, big hopes, but for the moment I really couldn't see beyond the immediate needs of rent and finishing my degree. There was no time for networking, let alone socializing. I had no social life. At the time, I was working an average of 12 hours a day and in school full time. There was no one to take care of me or share the burden. I was on my own. All I knew was if I could finish, life would be easier. I just needed to keep moving.

It was the middle of winter. My network of friends had disbanded and moved on with their lives as so often happens. Feeling left behind, I became more and more isolated, spending more and more time alone. I became increasingly frustrated. I had always been taught hard work brings results and if you played by the rules everything would fall into place. Work now, play later. But all I knew was work. I wanted to play, to enjoy life. I couldn't understand why things had to be so hard. As days became weeks and weeks melded into months, I began to see myself in the barren little tree that stood just outside my window. Like me, it just stood there, day after day, lifeless against a grayed sky.

One dreary afternoon, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself. I came home once again to a cold and empty apartment (I couldn't afford the heat). I hadn't been sleeping well, terrified of the peeping tom that had been lurking around my windows and now my car needed repairs. How was I going to pay for my classes? I collapsed in a massive heap on the floor raging against the unseen. I was the responsible one. I always did what was expected, played by the rules. Why was I trapped?? I simply didn't understand. What did I do wrong??

In the midst of my sobs, the sound of birds drew my attention to the window. I looked up. The little barren tree was full of robins. There must have been a least a dozen of them. I had never seen even one robin before let alone so many. But there they were, red breasts full and vibrant and singing. For me, the message was clear. I pulled myself up off the floor, stood up and dried my tears. I needed to keep moving. Everything would be alright. Spring was coming.