A great day off

A “pretty” day really isn’t a good time for a day off.  Really, the best day for a great day off is one like I’ve had today, a day that begins and ends and even in the middle has rain.

Not a torrential, wind-blasting, get-off-the-patio rain.  Just a straightforward, steady and committed rain.  Toss in a little bit of storminess somewhere along the way for mood and you have a great opportunity to just “take the day off” and observe.

We don’t always get that opportunity, of course.  Many times over the years I slogged to work in rain-slowed traffic, anxiously hoping against getting caught in one of those paralyzing jams due to the inevitable weather induced accident.  Plenty of times I spent in the Corporate world sharing the building with ill-tempered people mad at the weather and wearing that mad all day.

But, take away your “responsibilities” for a while and a rainy day is just fantastic.  Catch up on your reading?  Want to watch some shows on TV?  How about a guiltless day of goofing around on the computer?

For me, I love to sit on the patio and watch the water bounce off the trees, catch in the leaves and drop to the grass below.  The splatter as it hits the screen and tries to squeeze through the tiny holes.  Admire the birds loop in between gusts, flap dry at a perch and then fly off to their next spot.  Even the insects, moths and dragonflies and all manner of winged creatures, jumping back and forth to avoid the new suddenly soaked location.  It’s all amazingly alive.

And then, the storm comes.  The lightning flashes, the vibrating windows during the booms and the trees bowing in deference and defense against the angry winds.  Sometimes, bowing is not enough and a sacrifice must be made, as in today, when a sizable tree limb was ripped from its host and thrown into the middle of the green expanse behind my home.

Just as swiftly, the storm moves on, leaving a nurturing and gentle rain behind.  Persistent, but mild, the winds pass and there remains a soothing tak-tak-tak as it bounces off rooftops and gutters.  The air is fresh, cooler and has the undeniable smell of life.  Drops now hang on the tips of leaves for a moment before falling to the ground, only to be slowly replenished by the constant rain.

It takes a while to view it all.  It’s a panoramic vision that requires extreme quiet on my part, focusing out rather than in.  Sometimes it’s all within a single hour.  Sometimes, I can sit out there and have no sense of the time passed.  And in that time, it isn’t the world that has stopped; it’s only my world that has stopped.

And that’s a great day off.  Like today.

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