Monday, August 8, 2011

Fire & Rain...

Today was a day of extremes. The first half of the day into the afternoon was fiery, the sun's rays heating the ground and air, making it nearly unbearable to be outside. I braved the heat (in the mid to upper-90's), and walked to the corner store rather than drive. Within the first hundred feet or so of the front door, I was bathed in humidity, head to toe. The slightly cooler temperature of shadow was not plentiful as my walk began just beyond high noon. A sun worshiper, I am not. I often joke that I must have vampire blood on some distant branch of my family tree. The brightness and unbearable temperature aside, it felt wonderful to be out. To put my body in motion. To put my legs to use. When I left the perimeter of the condominiums, I was faced with two routes to take to my shorter along the main road, and one a bit more bucolic along the bike path. As I took the greener and lesser traveled of the two, for whatever reason this Frost poem popped into my head...

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I should be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

By mid afternoon, the sky darkened, and began to distantly grumble. I have a number of posts on my blog relating to rain. Yes, my love for rain is one reason I post about it, but the other (lately) is that we haven't had our usual amount this year. Oh, the carrot is constantly dangled in front of our faces, but an actual rainstorm seems to always be out of reach. The local radars told a different story this time, and we were hit with a huge thunderstorm. The distant grumbles evolved into colossal cracks and booms. A couple sounded like cannon fire, making me nearly jump out of my skin. It was wonderful! Truly exhilirating. I love rain, and thunderstorms doubly so. Since the sun from earlier in my day put me in mind of a poem, I feel the need to follow suit with a poem of the rain. The one I selected is a bit dark, but it's a beautifully written piece...and I really like it.

Rainy Night
by Dorothy Parker

Ghosts of all my lovely sins,
Who attend too well my pillow,
Gay the wanton rain begins;
Hide the limp and tearful willow.

Turn aside your eyes and ears,
Trail away your robes of sorrow,
You shall have my further years -
You shall walk with me tomorrow.

I am sister to the rain,
Fey and sudden and unholy,
Petulant at the windowpane
Quickly lost, remembered slowly.

I have lived with shades, a shade;
I am hung with graveyard flowers.
Let me be tonight arrayed
In the silver of the showers.

Every fragile thing shall rust;
When another April passes
I may be a furry dust,
Sifting through the brittle grasses.

All sweet sins shall be forgot;
Who will live to tell their siring?
Hear me now, nor let me rot
Wistful still, and still aspiring.

Ghosts of dear temptations, heed;
I am frail, be you forgiving.
See you not that I have need
To be living with the living?

Sail, tonight, the Styx's beast;
Glide among the dim processions
Of the exquisite unblesst,
Spirits of my shared transgressions.

Roam with young Persephone.
Plucking poppies for your slumber...
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number.

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