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Have you ever been caught in the rain without an umbrella, raincoat or a nearby shelter? Since I’m a city girl and don’t hike, camp, bike over mountain trails, I rarely get caught unprepared.

There is a lot going on in my life right now. I am in the process of publishing my first book, Playing Sheriff: A Nurse Practitioner’s Story. I am preparing to give a talk this evening to the oversight board of the hospital where I volunteer. I am co-chair of a patient advocacy group and am working on a power point presentation. (I haven’t used Power Point once in the last ten years!) What part of my book do I read when I am in Chicago two weeks from now at a luncheon celebration for the clinic where I worked over 30 years ago? And I’m scheduled for some extra sessions of kid duty, aka, babysitting in the next few days. And the most telling of my self-imposed angst is that I am six New Yorker editions behind rather than the usual two.

In the middle of this effort to keep my “to do” balls in the air, my husband and I set out for a walk. The newspaper didn’t predict precipitation so we dismiss the gray clouds loitering above. Shortly after we start, soft drops of rain dampen our heads. We turn around. At first we walk under the shelter of the tall trees that line the walkway. The last part of our trail is on concrete sidewalks lacking cover.

The rain teases us by alternating between a soft drizzle and plummeting shafts of water. A block before we reach the house, wind slams even heavier sheets of rain down on us, flattening my hair, soaking through my stretchy dry-fit sport shirt. Rivets of water run down my arms. While my husband picks up his pace, I saunter. The gray landscape takes on a surreal element, blurring the houses with shades of red, purple and white azaleas like a Monet painting. The smell of earth, sound of the wind and the wet slog of each footfall heightens my awareness of the surroundings and lightens my stress. I glide home in the downpour.

I step through the front door dripping water onto the rug and I drop my “to do” balls to the floor.

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