I’ve adopted a semi-regular habit of going for a walk after the boys are in bed. It’s winter so we’re not getting out as much, and without the field I find myself anxious and under exerted by the end of most days. With a rainstorm that was supposedly going to turn into snow any minute, I glanced out the window before getting on my warmies last night. The blowing rain caused me a bit of pause, and I paced restlessly around the
cage house looking for where I put my rain check book. I couldn’t find it so I bucked up, threw on my rain boots and headed out the door. I had to ask myself before I got to the next driveway, when did I get so soft? How is it that a little rain could actually deter me from carrying on in this instance when we’ve played joyfully in the rain, when we’ve picked blueberries for hours in the rain, when I’ve happily watered transplants with drops falling on my head? I laugh at people who run from car to house as though the sky is really dropping dog turds. It’s just rain, people!! And yet here I was letting the rain dissuade a healthy habit.
As I continued my walk, I found it interesting that one moment I could be suffering from ombrophobia, the next I’m frolicking in a deluge. It made me aware of the ebb and flow of my existence, my morphing abilities, desires and mindsets. That I’ve had eras of eating canned corn straight from the can as a main course and eras of monthly sushi bills that could have covered our rent. I’ve had eras of manicured appendages and eras of grips that could be mistaken with those of a gorilla with dirt so engrained a wire brush couldn’t get them clean. I’ve had eras of being a landlord while simultaneously renting a shack in the country. We bought a nearly new Toyota truck out of college, and our next vehicle was an 86′ Subaru jalopy with a caved in roof. We haven’t had a TV in 5 years but we let the boys watch some Netflix. I once poured local, raw milk on Lucky Charms (I think I might actually go to hell for that one).
I realize there are people out there that stand firmly on one side of this issue or that, that the line is hard and fast, black and white, and to cross over would be unfathomable. I guess I don’t fit so neatly in any camp, and I guess at times that makes me feel a little conflicted about where I fit in the larger social context of the world. Am I a hippie or a yuppie? A farmer or an engineer? A this or a that? I could go on… but I like to think that each decision, each experience has simply been a swing of the pendulum of my life. That eventually the amplitude of each swing will diminish until I settle where I’m meant to be. I don’t believe these juxtapositions in themselves make me a hypocrite, but it does make me keenly aware that to place judgment on a way that’s “other” than where I currently reside would.
Ah, back to the walk. It was a great walk – I liked seeing the way the splashing drops reflecting in pools under street lights looked like sparklers. I liked noticing, depending on which street I walked down, whether just the tip of my nose was catching rain or my entire face was. For a moment, I had the sneaking suspicion a mangy sheep was following me until I realized that’s just the smell of my wool hat when it gets wet. I liked thinking that I could be the only one out that might get to see the first raindrop-turned-snowflake. I wasn’t so lucky, and I was completely drenched when I got home but my house definitely felt more like a house and less like a cage.