This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
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It is pouring rain outside my window. Not drizzling, not showering, not lightly falling. No, it is pouring buckets, raining cats and dogs, pick your cliche'.
And I am loving it. Oh, here comes another cloud burst. The winds rattle the window panes, the pine needles peck the skylight as they plummet toward the plexiglass. And on and on it rains. And now, in addition to water and wind, we are also being treated to a thickening fog, delicate and mysterious among the tall pine trees that surround our house.
We are so thankful, here in Northern California, after more than four years of an historic drought to see the lakes and reservoirs filling up. We watch the local and state rainfall measurements with all the fascination with which a teenager watches You Tube or MTV. We are, in a word, delighted.
In my own case, I am further delighted when I reflect upon what a day like this would have meant for me just a few years ago.
How I hated waking up to a downpour. It meant that my commute would be more treacherous than usual. It meant that I would arrive at my office building to find all the usual parking places filled with vehicles that were not necessarily authorized to park there. People were willing to dare breaking the parking rules when being drenched.
Consequently, I would need to dash through the deluge, battling umbrella, briefcase, and electronic key card, hoping none of them got away from me before I made landfall at the great glass doors of the employee entrance.
By that time, my shoes were soaked, my hair was a mess, and my bones had already begun to ache. By evening I would be visibly limping, and by the time I arrived back home, I would be headed for the medicine cabinet in jig time to quickly down something to take the edge off my aching arthritic knees ... and back ... and hands.
A warm rain can be a wonderful thing. But winters in Nor. Calif. generally involve cold, wet, windy storms that can chill you right down to your very last proverbial bone. Such weather cries out for the electric heating pad to be set on the highest temperature. Cups of hot tea must be consumed in quantity.
And during those days of yesteryear, such weather also meant that twice each day - coming and going - I could expect to find myself chilled, damp, and thoroughly miserable.
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Today, I sit here in my little rocker recliner pecking happily away on my laptop like a robin pecking for worms in springtime - while outside it pours. There is a baseball game on TV, a pot of tea on the counter, and peace in my heart.
I smile when I think of how worriedly my former boss asked about whether I had truly considered the implications of resigning from the well-paying position I held in order to retire. Was I sure we had enough saved? Did I really think we could maintain our standard of living? What about the stock market gyrations?
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Tell you what. I happily traded that paycheck, that came with a crazy commute and crazier schedule, for a warm and cozy room with a great big window from which to watch it rain like crazy while I smile in quiet gratitude. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I am also keenly aware that not everyone gets to make such a blessed choice. So today, I simply say a prayer for mercy and strength for those who must still brave the elements to earn their way. I am so everlastingly grateful to be where I am; as Jan Karon recently put it, to be Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good.
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Hope you are in a good safe place today - warm and content. If you are not there yet, I hope you are headed in that direction. Until next time ~ Marsha