In Connecticut today the weather was dreary. It was raining, not a heavy rain, more of a persistent drizzle. The type of rain that lasts for hours casting a shadow on the surface of the earth confusing all creatures into thinking it is dusk. This type of weather gives me an almost unreal feeling of heaviness; as if all of the world’s burdens are somehow pushed down upon my shoulders with each passing drop. The misty water that falls from the sky evokes within me such a profound sadness. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure if this is a new development in my life or if it has always been this way.
From the moment I awoke this morning and saw the sky I knew today was going to be one of those days. The type of day where I ended up not wanting to do anything. I figured I would be better off just staying in my pajamas rather than going out doors. Unfortunately, or maybe, fortunately, life has a way of driving us out even when we would rather stay in. I had things to do. I had responsibilities to take care of. I had a life to conduct. And, so, I exited my house with no little sense of dread.
With the surety of a sleepwalker I went through the motions, going from this store to that, feeling rather sorry for myself over all the little trivial things in life that tend to get me down – bills, chores, more bills and even more chores.
I had to pick Mia up from her grandmother’s house. It was a welcomed distraction from my thoughts, which had continued to turn darker with each passing moment. I have always enjoyed my parent’s company and today was no different. Although, I must admit that upon leaving I wasn’t feeling any happier than I had been when I arrived. It’s funny how easily I allow outside elements to invade my life and cloud my thoughts.
As I walked outside with Mia she seemed un-phased by the rain; pausing slowly before entering the car to point her face to the firmament and catch a few lingering drops of water on the surface of her skin. It reminded me of a story her Kindergarten teacher told me last year early in the semester.
It happened on a day much like today. It was dark and cloudy. The sky was heavy. It was raining. That day there had been a fire drill. Or, rather, the fire alarm went off suddenly and unintentionally – loudly screeching throughout the building. The children were ushered out of the classroom quickly and unto the adjoining softball field. All of the children, grades K through 5, were clustered together on the small field. All of the children were complaining and trying unsuccessfully to shield themselves from the unforgiving rainfall. All of the children were asking when they could go back inside. That was when Ms. M first noticed her. That was when she saw Mia, arms outstretched towards the heavens dancing happily. One with the earth and one with the weather. One who wasn’t bothered by a little bit of rainwater. One whose spirits couldn’t be so easily dampened.
This story reminded me, in the midst of my unfounded distress, just how silly and immature I can be. It was only after this recollection that I realized a most obvious truth; my daughter is most likely the teacher, and I the student. And today the lesson she taught was on the proper way in which to view the world, the proper way in which to live: uninhibited by anything, unencumbered by dark thoughts. Today, she taught me, I am the one who decides whether or not I am going to let an outside force dictate my inner thoughts. She taught me I can choose to embrace the storm when it arrives and I too can dance in the rain.