The sky is shut over this morning, the gray that Lia Purpura has taught me is more than gunmetal.* I’m in a blanket fort with the world. 2580903014

When we were kids, my brother and I took all the high-backed chairs from the kitchen table and draped quilts over them in the living room.  This may be one of the biggest blisses of childhood – blanket forts.  There, we’d play and talk and then watch TV or read.  It was the suggestion Mom gave when the sky looks as it does today, promising quiet gray all day.

Yesterday, Jennifer Luitweiler said that we needed to talk literature and eat scones while we listened to the rain.  “I don’t know what it’s raining in my little vision but it is.”  Jen and I have never met in person, yet I hold her dear.  I’d build a blanket fort with her any day.

The rainy days, the ones that begin overcast, Grandpa always called “miserable” because his greatest joy was to be out from under a roof, working in the yard, building a shed, anything out that might give him the opportunity to talk with someone new.  I expect Grandpa never built blanket forts when he was a kid.

But today, when the clouds feel close enough that I could brush my curly hair against them, I feel comfort and peace. Days like these slow me down, force me to make do with what is at hand – a hand-tatted quilt and the magazines long-neglected on the steamer trunk that is my coffee table.  They push me inward to memory and the slide of a pen.

As a person whose greatest private joy is to be told that she must read, gray days promise gift and rest and the innocent secrets built within my own walls.

What do you think about gray, rainy days? 

*If you haven’t read her brilliant essay “Against Gunmetal,” well, it’s time.