Today’s weather was miserable. It had strong winds and a dousing rain. It was cloudy, it was muddy, and it was most definitely wet.

And so I was a bit miserable too. It’s a Monday, it’s rainy, and it’s just another reason to stay inside (as if I needed one).

But today was also a reminder that whatever you’re feeling right now about the quarantine, about social distancing, and about the virus, you can and should be feeling it.

You can be sad, disappointed, mad, tired, frustrated, relaxed, grateful, anything!

If you’re feeling it, then it’s a valid feeling.

So, if you are going to take today to be miserable, like me, then have at it!

All feelings are good. And no one should tell you how to feel.



I Miss Thunder

We had a storm tonight. The lightning flashing and the lights flickering kind of storm. Actually, it was the kind of storm that you would typically see roll over the horizon during the summer, when all the windows are open and you can actually feel the change in barometric pressure. It’s exciting.

As long as you’re inside. Or at least, under cover. When I was younger, I used to watch storms come in from the porch of my grandparents’ house. The awning above provided just enough protection to see and hear the storm instead of feeling it. (But I can remember standing in some puddles afterward, which was the perfect amount of wet for me.)

I found that I missed thunder tonight. Actually, I always miss it around this time of year because, right about now, summer feels like the furthest thing. And for me, thunder is one of those rare anchors for the seasons.

But I also realized that I missed the feeling thunder gives me. Again, when I’m safe inside.

Because when you’re cozy and sound inside of a dwelling when thunder is booming, it really makes you appreciate what you have, in a way that you don’t on a perfectly sunny day. (Or maybe it just makes you happy that you’re not out in that mess).

For me, it makes me hunker down a little further and feel a little bit more relaxed about what’s going on around me. Like maybe it’s not that bad, because I’m not out there. Everything is okay as long as I’m not out in that storm, being tossed by wind and drummed by thunder.

And when it’s all over, I can still play in the puddles. (As long as I make sure that the lightning has stopped.)

In the end, thunder just awakes some primal instinct in us that makes us grateful for the shelter that we have. But if you find yourself stuck out in it, at least the ducks think you’re lucky. I guess there’s always a brighter side to a lightning strike.

Bursting All Over

My house is always a sight for sore eyes when I’ve had a long day.

But now that it is spring, all of my mother’s green thumb handiwork looks especially beautiful. (Even though my eyes literally get sore from all of the allergies.) The tulips that stand so tall, their heads bobbing in the breeze. The pansies, huddled and colored together, their little faces turned to the sun. Then there’s the lavender bush with its symmetrical kisses of blossoms whose scent hangs lazily in the humid air. Everything has been waiting so patiently to pop and now that it has happened, it’s as if they couldn’t wait any longer.

Then there’s the redbuds. In great spirals, the pinkish reddish buds climb the branches, grasping bits of sky. From young saplings to sprawling trees, their display becomes more and more beautiful every year.

Of course, they’re pretty trees. And yes, they add some interest to an otherwise normal front lawn. Sure, they offer plenty of shade.

Yet, I never noticed something about them before tonight. When I was walking up to my house, I happened to pass very close to the nearest, lowest branch. I found that instead of shooting out leaves and blossoms in one cluster, the redbud grows flowers everywhere. Even on a long stretch of bark, small little groupings of buds burst out. Just a random crop here and there, wherever it feels like it.

Besides being incredibly adorable because it looks like the tree simply couldn’t contain itself, it is a perfect reminder for us all to look for beauty where you wouldn’t necessarily find it. In order to do that though, you have to start with yourself.

It doesn’t matter how you are supposed to look or be. Growth can be messy. Sometimes it can mean that you change in places you least expect. Sometimes it means that you change all over and become completely unrecognizable. And even sometimes still, you’ll surprise people by changing in leaps and bounds, like my entire yard did. But you’ll just have to trust that the end result will be beautiful, as it is every spring.