Will just came home and is sitting with Piper under the carport teaching her to write her name with chalk. We have leftover vegetables roasting in the oven, mainly some sliced root vegetables along with what’s leftover of a red onion, a few Brussels sprouts, and a yellow bell pepper. I tossed the lot in some olive oil and a bit of a spice mix called Pueblo Dust that we bought from the farmers’ market last Saturday. Outside is wet and cloudy; we’ve had intermittent rain since the early hours of the morning.
We saw an opportunity to head out a few hours ago, though. The rain had stopped and the clouds parted, letting just enough sunlight through to cast a warm and inviting glow on the puddles and streets. Piper put on her rain boots, a new pair we bought her for Christmas, and splashed around in the water. Sometimes we bring rubber ducks and other bath toys out to float across the little puddles, but today we walked the quiet streets down to the lending library and beyond to see what else we could discover just a short way from home.
We returned some Christmas books we had borrowed, as well as one I sat with for a while but never felt compelled to read completely. Instead, I took home a copy of White Oleander, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, and one whose title eludes me now but looked very interesting–about country life and farming. Afterward, we made our way down to the lake.
The street leading to it smelled at first like lake water, which wasn’t as unpleasant as you’d imagine. It was a fresh kind of scent, the kind you undoubtedly recognize if you have ever gone fishing early in the morning. Then my nose caught something all together different. A toasty smell wafted through the air and it smelled to me as if someone in the neighborhood was baking bread, though it wasn’t as intoxicating as when you drive past a bakery. It was this subtle, inviting smell, domestic and yet unfamiliar enough to where I can’t quite pin it down.
There are many lovely, large trees along the lake, but today one stood out from the rest. We walked toward it, its branches naked but looking no less regal for it. Soon we both realized there were some things nestled against its roots. A soggy, wet teddy with its face down against the grass and a small plastic bag with mother Mary and baby Jesus pictured on it were the main finds. It seemed a bit sad just left there, and I wondered if it was some type of marker. Then I noticed a plush red velvet rose beneath another stuffed animal, and thought perhaps we were looking at what was left after some amorous adventure cut short. Who knows? We left it there, though with a stick we gently turned the soaking bear around with his face to the sky.
We took a different route home, one where I knew there would be another lending library. We found a book for Piper there–a cute summary of Frozen. Piper slipped it into my bag and asked to read it while we drink hot chocolate. Growing up I always had hot chocolate on cold or snowy days, but I think Piper associates it with dark and rainy ones. The walk home felt long, but we entertained ourselves by asking imaginary birds for directions. “Sister bird, where do we go now?” and “Here is your stick for you to stand on–hold on, it is going to be a bumpy ride!” were just a few of the sweet treasures I got to hear on our walk back to the house.
I returned home feeling invigorated. Rainy days are some of my favorites. From the soothing sound of it falling outside, to the way a good rain will wash away all that is old and bring new life to the surface, and to the way it invokes excitement, warmth, imagination and togetherness–I love it all 🙂
Enjoy your day–