In summer, we like to be outside enjoying the warm weather in the backyard. Especially this year, having just come out of a Netflix-heavy winter, it’s the first in a long time we have no travel plans.
July, though, was a rainy month. During a particularly wet evening, my husband suggested we sit out on our covered front porch. With a bottle of red and two rocking chairs, we watched the rain, listened to the soothing sounds of rolling thunder, and talked for hours.
It was wonderful.
Two nights later, more rain. Back to the porch, to the music of raindrops on dogwood leaves, on warm bricks along the walkway, to the clink of glasses as we toasted to the end of another day.
Truce, we say, our toast ever since I laughingly fumbled my words earlier in the season.
It’s been a strange fifteen months. We’re still adjusting to the changes in our world: working from home, fewer outings with friends, continuous together time.
We broke our quick tradition the following evening, sitting on the rockers when orange and pink replaced the gray sky. As the sky darkened, we watched fireflies dot the front lawn, the baby rabbits that seemed to have materialized this summer more than any other, graze the grass. Maybe we didn’t notice them in the past because we were too busy. Running out. Away on vacations. On the couch.
A car drove by. Neighbors walked their dog past.
“What do you think people are saying about us?” my husband asked as the Shepard pulled the couple along.
“There are those alcoholics who think they live in Brooklyn.”
He sipped. “You think?”
“No. They’re saying can you believe those old people still enjoy each other’s company?”
The truth is, we don’t care. We have a lot to celebrate: summer, marriage, friendship. Life.
A few weeks ago, during another night on the porch, a friend passed by on his way home from work, saw us and stopped. He sprinted up the driveway, dodging raindrops. We poured him a glass of wine and caught up. When his suit dried, he left us to continue home.
It’s August already. Things are moving fast, so we’re making every effort not to. If we’ve learned nothing else from the past year, it’s that slowing down is a good thing. Do what brings you joy.
Sitting on the porch in the rain with my husband brings me joy.
I put dinner in the oven the other night. He walked into the kitchen. “Is that thunder?”
We stopped to listen. I smiled.
“I’ll get the glasses.”