As I walked from one apartment to the next, my thin sorry-excuse-for-sneakers grew heavy. Cold water seeped into the cracks in the soles, and I did my best to protect my backpack from downpour, as it contained my laptop, or as I like to call it, “my literal child.”
The fastest route was still a few minutes of walking, and included long stretches with no cover (and too many stairs to count, though if I’m truly honest I’ve counted them a dozen times). Though cold, the feeling of my shoes, sweatpants, and hoodie clinging to my body closer with each step was comfortable. A familiar chill settled into my limbs, and I was suddenly hit with more memories.
Rainy days were always my favorites. They were the days when my sister and I would dress in our mud-clothes: the central piece to my outfit was a one-size-too-big raincoat in a memorably unpleasant olive color. We would wait until the storm had filled all of the holes in our yard and then beg Mom to let us out and play. Standing under the drain pipes that hung off the roof, we would take turns getting as soaked as possible, and then race through the puddles until our boots were so full we’d have to pull them off and dump them out. Sometimes we would take the empty egg cartons from our kitchen and build boats to race across the biggest puddles, which in our imagination were daunting oceans during a tempest.
Though I have no idea how the game began, my sister and I would always role-play as children who had gotten lost in the storm and stumbled upon the “warm-looking cottage in the woods” (our house) where a “kind woman” (our mother) would welcome us in from our weary travels, and let us dry ourselves in front of the fire while she made us tomato soup and grilled cheese (naturally), which we would finish off with a hot chocolate. Then, pleading Mom to play along, we would ask her if there was “a bed we could stay in for the night”, and she would pull out our cozy Christmas nightgowns (red flannel with white lace trim, I found a similar one and added it just for fun) and tuck us into our beds.
Days spent inside on a rainy day were just as happy. Tucked into my bed, I would sit with the blinds open and my cheek pressed against the cool glass as I read a book (at that time it would have been A Horse and His Boy ). Every once and awhile I would look up to watch the lightning streak across the sky and feel the vibration of the thunder through the glass before the crash met my ears.
Even now, those happy memories keep me from ever being miserable in the rain, though I can’t help but wonder how many children are out on the street tonight without a “warm-looking cottage” and a “kind woman” to give them refuge.
**As a side note, I didn’t miss my writing for yesterday, I simply applied it to a school assignment instead! Carry on with your night, and stay safe out there!**