A rainy memory


It is pouring here in Central Mass. Pouring buckets. The sky is as gray as pewter and the air is cooler than I’ve felt it in months.

I went out this morning, doing some errands and meeting a friend. I got home after three hours feeling damp and rumpled and chilled. I came into the house and peeled off my wet socks.

Its summer. I had nowhere else to go today, and nobody to impress. I pulled on a comfy pair of pajamas and curled up on the couch. Gazing out at the storm, I felt safe and warm.

It brought back a memory, a clear memory from my childhood. I was in the third grade, and it was a cold and rainy day. Our little school was built near a an area of woods; although the trees were only about an acre deep, to me they seemed dark and thick and scary. With the wind bending the treetops and the silver rain streaming down, the world outside of our classroom looked incredibly threatening to an imaginative nine year old girl. I remember that I stood at the window of the classroom, leaning on the counter and looking out into the shady woods. I wondered if there were wolves out there.

I remember that I turned back to the classroom, where my friends were playing and chatting. The lights in the room seemed golden, and buttery and I felt them pouring over me. I don’t know if a heater was on, but I remember that as I stood with my back to the window, I felt the chill behind me and the warmth in front of me.

That image has always stayed with me, like a metaphor. School, my classroom, was a safe, bright, warm place. Inside of my classroom, I was cocooned and protected from the dark, cold world outside.

When September comes, and the cool rains pour down, I hope that I will have created a warm, lighted space where my students will feel safe and secure. I hope that some of them will come to think of our classroom as haven.

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