Where do our small, personal rituals come from, I wonder.
I have mixed feelings about the rain. I live in a wet area of the country, where water flows freely and droughts don’t mean dried up rivers. It rains about 144 days out of the year on average, so a more than occasional rainy afternoon is a given. Life goes on. I still have to go to work, grocery shopping, and get in a workout. This is the land of Gore-Tex and rain boots, though if you carry an umbrella, we might think you are a visitor from far-off lands.
That being said, rainy afternoons are a good excuse to slow down and cut myself some slack. I have a few personal rituals for these types of days.
First, I light a candle. Sounds very ritualistic, doesn’t it? It serves a small, but very important purpose. The gloomy days bring me down, and the warmth of a candle flame is a small, but very important stand-in for the soul-warming rays of the sun. Just having that small, warm flicker lifts my spirits just a little.
Cozy days at my house don’t just happen. With the rain usually comes the cold. Many days are stormy, with gusting winds seeping into the house. “Mom, can’t we just turn up the heat?” pleads Goose invariably, as he saunters out of his resting place in front of his computer, wearing only shorts. Honestly, he needs to settle in a warmer climate. I hold my ground. The heater stays put at 68 degrees, and I remind him, as I do on a daily basis, that this is what sweatshirts are for. But I’m not altogether cruel, so I set to work making scones. Between the cold bedrooms and the warm kitchen smells, I’m sure to see my sons for at least as long as it takes to scarf one or two or three of them down.
Rainy days are perfect for soups and stews, so I usually get one of those started. The smells take over the house. Caldo Tlapeño, a rich Mexican chicken soup with lime. Vegetarian lentil soup with vegetables and barley. Rich, homemade chili. Any of a number of vegetable bisques, all so good with a loaf of homemade bread. Rainy days are aromatic days at my house.
Once the house has reached peak coziness, I am able to settle down with a book or my laptop. We have blankets folded on the back of the couch, soft, fuzzy blankets, perfect for snuggling. I grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a book and settle in, not worrying about the housework that always needs to be done or the leaves that are piling up outside, putting off that trip to the store. It’s ‘me’ time.
At least until Goose walks out to once again plead with me about the heater.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singin’ in the Rain.” Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.