Monday, March 16, 2009

Comfortable Gray Rainy Days -- jcarolek

All weekend it was raining. The skies were gray and the temperatures too cold to enjoy the outdoors anyway. I was recuperating from surgery and thinking about how, in another time, I would have felt trapped, claustrophobic. And yet, this weekend I did not. We spent our time lazing around, eating delicious soup and bread, and just being comfortable.

Today was another work day, but since I am able to work from the house, it was more of the same...gray and chilly outdoors, warm and comfortable indoors, with the delightful aroma of homemade soup on the back burner. I was reminded of childhood vacations at the Pond House, in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Our vacations were always in the summer and the expectation was that we'd have lots of sunshine and spend countless hours outside, fishing on the pond -- exploring as only children can. Grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins joined us in this small, two "bedroom" rustic home that my father and his siblings had called home as youngsters. During these 60's vacations, we children slept on the porch. And on more than one occasion, the weather did not cooperate, and we were presented the gray, rainy days in place of the sunny days ordered.

I discovered the comfort of lying in bed reading, eventually drifting off into long naps to the rhythm of the raindrops on the porch roof of this old house. And I recall awakening from these comfortable naps to the pleasant aroma of dinner cooking on the old stove. And I don't recall ever feeling bored. No, those gray days, the days we never planned for our vacation, often turned out to be the best days of all.

This weekend, as I crawled back into bed for another nap, I understood that I was not trapped indoors by the weather. Rather, I was completely freed by the weather to enjoy my time indoors. And as we sat at the table and shared a meal of soup and bread, I thought how very lucky I am to have time to actually enjoy those around me. Sure, I'm looking forward to the long summer days ahead, but every now and then, I think a nice comfortable gray rainy day is just what the doctor ordered.

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