Friday, February 25, 2011

Charleston - Day 4



Rain, rain go away...
...or not.

We may have missed our window of opportunity to see more of Charleston before a storm blew in. Sweetie slept in while I ate breakfast which is the total opposite of what we usually do. I was headed for my camera to try to capture some of the moss covered trees when the rain began to fall. Our hostess says this is a light rain so there's not a problem driving into town. Heavy rains, she adds, cause the streets to flood. Begging the question, how do people maneuver the water filled roads?

Thinking we'd brave the rain - what's a little water when you're on vacation - we headed for the car and the road that is something out of a scary movie on a good day. We stopped at the porch steps to rethink this plan.

Do I really need the $25.00 jar of lavender scented shea butter I promised the man I'd be back for today? Did Sweetie really want to test his driving skills on a curvy lane where the speed limit is 35 MPH but everyone drives at least 45, not to mention the slick pavement? The longer we pondered, the more the rain begged us to sit on the porch and stay awhile. The green blanket seemed to call from our room, beckoning us to the wicker chaise on the back screened in veranda.

Here I sit. Captivated by a particularly Charlestonian view of moss covered oak trees, Magnolias that reach to the sky, camellia bushes all abloom, and a dock that seems to go forever into the tidewater. If I listen real close I can hear a few birds calling to each other. The rain hitting the trees and the roof harmonize a kind of somnolent lullaby. Sweetie has fallen asleep before even retrieving his book from the bottom of the suitcase. At first my vacation mind set was undone by this rain-soaked delay. We're here in Charleston, after all, to see all we can see, soak up the history, dine on the low country cuisine, take pictures and buy T-shirts, dammit. Sitting around listening to the rain was not on my agenda.

Then I stopped to rethink things. Dictionary.com defines vacation as: a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity,usually used for rest.
The thesaurus lists synonyms such as: breathing space, day of rest, liberty, respite, rest.

One of the reasons for this get away was to see new sights. Another more important one was to rest. Maybe these showers are nothing more than Mother Nature's way of saying, "hey Merry ME, slow down, take a load off, relax, rest. Give yourself some breathing space."

You see, I'm pretty sure that at the same time I've been enjoying my time away I've also been about the task of building a wall around my grief, trying to block it off. Don't think about him, I said to myself as I stood in front of the statue of John Wesley in Reynolds Square. That was a long time ago, I said as I sat in the Pirate's House restaurant remembering an unspoken time. I kept my tears at bay on the month anniversary of Dad's passing, but let them flow this morning as a Willie Nelson tune wafted from the kitchen window to where I sat enjoying a 2nd blueberry muffin.

And now the rain. It's just too damn easy to be sad when it rains.

With a little time and patience, however, what started out as grim pissiness at not going into town, has turned into enjoyable relaxation. It's weird isn't it that one can be happy and sad at the same time? Or is that my split personality showing itself? I'm trying not to put any restrictions on myself. I want to feel what I feel when I feel it. I'm learning happy and sad don't have to cancel each other out; that rain and vacation can actually go hand in hand; that rest isn't synonymous with lazy (Dad's voice booming down from heaven). It's really all about taking care of myself. An odd concept, to be sure, but one I'm beginning to embrace.


Speaking of embracing. I see my Sweetie bundled up under the green blanket. I think I see enough room for me to squeeze in also. I may not be learning about how rice grows, or South Carolina's reasons for firing the first shot of the Civil War or where Blackbeard hid his treasure, but I'm learning something even better - how to be gentle with myself.

My wish for you today is that your recognize a gentle kiss from Mother Nature when she blows it your way,
Merry ME

2 comments:

Camille Olivia said...

Oh, you lovely, lovely woman. Bravo! Bravo! Bravisimo! Arms around ya...from here to there.

Fire Byrd said...

Having read the last two posts then I know which is the better one... this. For all the reasons you state in it, and the fact that the wonderful rain stopped you so you could get to this place.
here's to more rest and think places in the coming weeks and months. And boo hiss to all that running around avoiding
xx