It is thundering and lightening outside. The thunderstorm blew in a few minutes ago. I am sitting at my desk, watching the flashes of light bounce off the quarry, watching the rain fall, caught in the nearby street lamp across the street. I have doors and windows open – they are protected by the overhang of front and back porches, so the sound of the rain envelops me, a real life version of surround sound, the subtleties of the rain falling and hitting different things around me – trees, slate, cars, wires, the grass, the sidewalk, immerses me in the storm, as does the feel of it a cool wind from the southwest that rustles papers in my study, that ruffles my hair and feels delightfully cool on my bare feet.
The storm inches closer. Every couple of minutes, the gap between flashes of light and the rumble of thunder grows shorter. It will not be long before it’s here.
I am at my desk, the computer screens bright and crisp. A small halogen desk lamp the only light on in the house, casting shadows into the next rooms, I am eating at my desk, as I often do, a block of wonderful cheese, “Pawlet” from the cheese farm down thee road, Consider Bardwell Farm. It is an extravagance, one of the delights of living in this corner of Vermont, the fresh, rich cheeses made fresh, always available. Literally always. You can go by their barn day or night, and a door is open, the coolers available, bought by the honor system – any number of goat and cow cheeses. “Pawlet”, my personal favorite, is sort of like a cheddar, but more subtle, gentler on the tongue, yet rich in taste. A hard cheese full of taste that lingers with every bite.
I have a small glass of red wine, sipping it slowly. I am no wine snob, but this, I think, is a good one. Like most people with most things, I can generally tell quality. I am sure there are lots of phrases that wine afficianados would use to describe the wine. I’d just call it complex, full of flavors I don’t have words for. A sipping wine, so ripe with flavor that to drink it would seem a sin. Better to let each drop linger, like a lover’s touch.
I can smell the rain. I could smell it before it arrived. So strong, so clear was the smell that at one point I walked out on the front porch, expecting to feel the rain blow over me, and yet, there was nothing there. I was mistaken. It was on the wind, not here. And now that it IS here, I wonder what made me think that. Because the here and now has a vividness that the distant rain never had. Even here in my house, the smell of the cool rain as it pelts the hot earth is so strong, so immediate, that my body is somehow surprised I am dry.
So often, I write of things past, of memoried feelings and thoughts. Loves lived. Loves lost. Love hoped for. God’s grace. Struggles with depression. Victories recalled. Unrelenting hope. Part of that is because I process feelings slowly. It is why I write, in fact, part of a process of dealing with emotions that helps keep me sane. It is both a strength and a weakness of mine that my mind is so often catching up with itself, or dreaming of what could be. Both have value.
But tonight, in this moment (for I will post this as soon as I finish writing it.) it is good to remember how joyful living in the exact moment is, that so many of our moments are magical, but we lose them in the past, or in thoughts of the future, instead of reveling in the amazingness of here. Now. This moment.
I have come to love these moments, when I have no agenda. Nothing to do. Just time to take it all in, to sit in the midst of a world and actually see it and feel it in real time.
(written between 9:15 and 9:25 PM. Posted at 9:26. Not edited.)