We were all in the kitchen when we heard the sound of rain pelting on the windows.
“Sounds like weather.” Howard said. I flipped on the porch light to show us the blowing rain.
“But our cat is out there!” Gleek said. She jumped out of her chair and called out the back door. Then she ran to the front door and called from there too.
“The cat is fine.” I assured Gleek. “She’s found a dry place to curl up and probably doesn’t want to come through the rain to the door. I reminded Gleek that our cat took care of herself just fine for several months while she was a stray. That’s how she became ours.
Bedtime continued, but I left the lights on so we could see the cat should she show up. She did only about ten minutes later. She was wet, but only a dash across the yard wet, not soaked by the rain wet. The cat did not much appreciate the quick toweling, but she purred for the petting. Gleek was quite relieved to know that the cat was indoors and safe.
This is far from the only instance when my kids have been worried for our cat. Sometimes she spends all night outdoors and the kids worry about her. But she always shows up, ready to purr and be in the house. In fact a major source of conflict in our house is differing opinions about how we should treat the cat.
So our wayward pet is indoors and I lock the deadbolts. No one else will be exiting before morning. I pause a moment to look out at the puddles out in the street. Raindrops scatter the reflected light from the street lamp. There is a flash of lightning and thunder rolls overhead. Thunder is not the usual music for December, but I feel happy hearing it this evening. I’m not really ready for the world to be snowy yet, but we can use the moisture. I like the sound of the rain. It feels cozy and Christmas-ish. My childhood Decembers in California never featured snow.
Earlier in the day I walked home during a light rain. It was more of a sprinkle, certainly nothing like the windy wetness outside. I like walking in the rain. It feels free. When I am in the rain, I know that I have not let the weather stop me from doing something I want to do. Sometimes a desire to not go in the rain traps me at home, which is why I feel strong and confident when I do venture forth. Out in the rain I’ve abandoned responsibility and opened up that part of myself which likes to splash in puddles and kick through piles of fallen leaves.
I was very responsible this weekend. I made sure that eight children and four adults had three meals a day for two days. I sorted invoices and attended meetings. I went to bed at night with a head so stuffed full of responsibility that it kept me awake. I wish there had been rain to listen to in those dark post-midnight hours instead of only my own breathing. I got up in the morning feeling barely rested and continued to be responsible until about the time the rain began. I don’t think it was the rain which caused me to curl up and watch TV. I was already headed there, the rain just made it feel more cozy.
The wind has calmed now, leaving the sound of raindrops falling to the ground instead of blowing against the house. My house has calmed too. Soon we will all be in bed, hopefully to sleep restfully. The weather report says the rain will be gone tomorrow.