we were away from home that day, somewhere out in the city, and got caught in the rain — the glorious kind of chilly downpour that catches one unexpectedly in the summer. when we returned we changed out of our wet things and gathered in the kitchen, just the three of us, as i recall, for chai and conversation sitting cross-legged on the countertops. i have no idea what we talked about, but i remember the spice, and the warmth, and the comfort of being safe and dry in good company. it was all i-don’t-know-how-long ago, yet that one vivid remembrance has come to mind every summer rain since, and sometimes, when dusk whispers coolly against my arms, i don a cocoon of a sweater and fix myself a mug of spicy tea.
what did i do last summer? apparently there were weddings and races and parties and concerts … and tomatoes. apparently i wrote stories and made shortbread. i remember i learned to love solitary walks around the park and the neighborhood … the feeling of moving along only at the pace allowed by my short legs and unhurried soul. i stared at trees. i played cards with friends and laughed and laughed and laughed. i sat in a coffee shop and wrote in a little black notebook. i spent a lot of time chasing a mood, a certain kind of light, a place thousands of miles away where i had been but definitely wasn’t anymore. i read great books about good women, though they were mostly fiction.
this summer has been parties and weddings and cheesecakes and heartache and joy and being friends with small humans and sobbing and hugging and being strong and weak and stretched and learning how to die so i can live the kind of life worth living. it’s a beautiful-horrible-beautiful world and sometimes it makes me so angry i think i will explode (or implode) … yet then there are those gracious glimpses of the glory to come, and i’m reminded that someone much, much bigger, better and wiser than me is in control of all things and is working all this craziness together toward something beyond my ability to imagine. and that it is good.
then i put my hand on my heart, to keep it from flying out of my chest, and breathe.