“I ran into the street barefoot and danced with my mouth open.”

Today is an ugly day. It rained more last night. Everything is still wet. Flowers are drooping, and tree limbs are closer to the ground. The furniture covers I spread out to dry have new pockets of rainwater so I’ll have to empty them again if the sun ever returns.

My back is so very painful right now. I have no idea what I might have done two days ago as the pain started yesterday. I didn’t lift anything heavy. Maybe I turned the wrong way. This morning I could barely get out of bed. I moan when I move. Henry watches me from around the corner, his head the only part of him I can see. I think Jack is upstairs. I saw Gwen sort of hiding in the cats’ room. Henry is late for his morning nap.

When I was a kid, I loved getting soaked by a summer rain. I’d stand outside with my arms spread wide and my mouth open hoping to catch some drops. I’d splash the running rivers which ran along the gutters beside the sidewalks. We’d splash each other and laugh at the sheer joy of getting wet on a hot summer’s day.

On the hot days, my little sisters ran through the sprinkler. Ours was often set on the grass along the side wall of the house. It spun in a circle and made noise. I remember my sisters would spread out their towels in the sun as if the yard were a beach. They’d take turns running and jumping over the sprinkler. They’d lie in the sun to dry.

I have a list of stuff to keep me busy. The list isn’t long. Reading tops the list. That was an easy choice. Sporadic cleaning is next because I do that already. I use my sleeve. The rest of the list is fluid. It changes with my mood. On the way through the living room, I sometimes stop and rearrange stuff like the pillows. In the kitchen I move the canisters around on the counter, but they usually end up in the same spot where they started. Strangely enough I am seldom bored. I have learned to take it easy, to slow down and sometimes to do nothing. But when I do nothing, I feel a bit of residual guilt imprinted on me by the nuns. That’s okay I suppose. It keeps me honest.

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