Rain drops keep falling on my head

Well actually they don’t because it is raining outside today and I have run out of energy to get out of the door and go somewhere.  Does this mean that this is a bad day – heck no.  Any day is a good day, even when they don’t go to plan, and more importantly even when you don’t think it is a good day at the time and it may be a day that I don’t want to treasure and remember.  These are the kind of days that make the others so special especially when you have to factor in the British weather.

I have always felt rather sorry for those who live somewhere where, weatherwise, one day is pretty much like another.  There is a certain joy to waking up to a sunny blue sky that can give you a real energy jolt, and can make you gasp at its beauty.  I have a thing about skies, and when I think of a perfect day it is usually the sky that comes to mind first.  I was staying with my aunts a few years ago and I took them up to Brill Hill nearby just to look at the sky.  At that stage Jean was pretty much housebound and aunt Sula could no longer push her wheelchair very far.  It made a perfect break just sitting up there by the windmill looking at the clouds and watching the kites flying as others played.  My aunt lives in Oxfordshire which is a pretty flat county, so a hill is an unusual feature, but when there is one you can get a marvelous view.  She was born and grew up in the Cotswold Hills in the neighbouring county of Gloucestershire with the hills, dry stone walling and stone roofed buildings.  Not too far to go to get something so different, but she does miss hills.

Yesterday as I was driving here I went through mile after mile of land that makes a pancake look positively mountainous, but that is the fenland of East Anglia for you.  It got to the point where I almost rejoyced when I started to go up some hills and out of the relentless flatness of it all.  And … I began to encounter trees again, not just as thin strips of wind breakers, but clumps of the lovely green things and I realised how much I missed them.  What it does do is to reinforce how some of the ordinary things that we take so much for granted are what makes life special.

It is a bit like rain.  How we rely on it for so many things, and nothing more so than the ability to just turn on a tap and get out fresh safe clean water, but I also rely on it for those special days when it is not there, at least not all the time.  I don’t like getting a little bit wet when I go out, but there is something exciting and vaguely devilish about days when it pours and you get really soaked, or you peer out from under the hood of your mac and see the drips coming of it, or the umbrella you are under, and no matter what your age you can truly reconnect with the inner child.  Just watch out for puddles, to splash in!  I love the plant known as Ladies Mantle (alcamila mollis is the proper name if I have spelt it correctly).  It has lovely rounded leaves with rough edges which collect dew drops, or rain drops, which they hold on to for a long time after the day has cleared up.  The drops glint like crystals and seem to bask in the sun until they disappear.  I have always wanted a camera that is good enough to be able to capture that moment, but maybe one day.

This is one of the things that having metastatic breast cancer has actually given me, rather than taking something away from me.  I have learned to enjoy the ordinary things which really make a life worthwhile, because this is what life is all about, every single day.  They may not be as good as we would want them to be, but they are actually there.  I never thought I would appreciate even the bad days, eventually.  Without the ordinary how do you recognise the extraordinary?


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