Humidity met me as I left the building yesterday afternoon. A shock to the senses – September is not this hot nor is it this humid. Such days are restricted to the likes of July and August – yet summer greeted me in full force as I ventured to the bus stop on the last full day of the season. Summer is not gracefully leaving center stage; rather, she is pulling out all the stops with a few show stoppers!
I watched my shadow, feeling my air conditioned skin warm all the while watching the storm approaching from the west – thunder booming, dark clouds racing to cover the brilliance of yellow and blue. Would I make it to the bus stop and then into the coffee shop before the rain arrived? Could we even make it to ballet before the downpour?
I delighted in the game – the race against nature, the dichotomy of the sun and blue skies drawn on half the sky while shades of gray filled the remainder.
As the bus turned into the street, the first drops began to fall.
As I took refuge under a tree, ever so thankful for the abundance of greenery over head, a fellow parent offered me an umbrella for the day.
When the skies opened, we were safely tucked into a corner of the coffee shop enjoying a pre-ballet chat and snack. By the time we left, the rain had traveled east leaving us with wet streets, puddles, and the chance of seeing a rainbow.
That was yesterday, today is promising to be quite different.
I woke with tears gathering behind my eyes and feeling glad that no one would be measuring my blood pressure.
Having slept little last night, I woke feeling drained of energy – the heat, the humidity, the schedule of the day that stretched before me. Through the hours of the morning, I have fought back tears though I am not sure I know why they linger. I have cleaned, walked, back tracked twice, chatted with neighbors, joked with the barista, and landed safely in my office, prepared to in gross myself with work.
“Maybe schools could teach a class called beauty and talk about its many forms? Inner, outer, wild, courageous. Perhaps, math and reading and science might be better integrated into larger topics?
Every time I look at a flower I'm amazed by its beauty.”
And tears gathered for another reason entirely…
Suddenly I was imagining the schools teaching the idea of beauty – the beauty of languages, of art, of physical movement, of the way words play together and create images… the beauty of logic, of numbers, of experimentation, of method, of the way things just “work” and why…
And then she reminded me of the simple and complex beauty of a flower…
While yesterday I was able to see the beauty of the day, today I have been aware only of the drained feeling inside. I remember noticing a light floral scent as I walked, the lift inside when I chatted with the neighbor, and delight of my daughter as she talked of her dream and finishing her book and the happenings in the classroom…and I, like so many others around me, didn’t recognize the beauty.
How easy it is to be caught in the pressure of time and physicality.