Lessons in Fluidity of Thought

8:05 pm

It rained today. Not the sort of constant semi-drizzle that London normally receives but large, big slanting rain that makes a homogeneous whooooshhh sound, combines forces with the wind and gives everything a good, strong, rinse.

I sat by my window for half an hour to enjoy this rare spectacle. As I watched, the rain got heavier till a sort of hazy layer of mist settled down on top of all the trees around my house and I could only just about spot the freight train that passes by in the distance every day.

The train normally has a muddy appearance but today it looked the tiniest amount of shiny and this compelled me to channel the forces outside to my own private space.

I started with the bed sheets.

Credits:

Siemens Washing Machine, Daz Detergent Powder +Ecover Fabric softener, 40 degrees, short wash + drying, 2h 03 minutes.

Next I cleaned my bathroom.

Credits:

Special rainy day Spotify playlist - a combination of Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and Badly Drawn Boy with background vocals by the whooooshhh outside that crept in through my open window.

Harpic, toilet brush, Dettol Multi-action Cleaning Spray, Scotch-brite sponge cloth, Zaz Bathroom Cleaner.

Then I had a shower.

Credits:

Palmolive Almond flavoured Body Wash, Turkey towel, Vaseline Aloe Vera Moisturizing Lotion.

All of the above (except the shower which I try and indulge in every day without fail), normally stowed away to the lower most rung of my things-I-must-do list, put me in a meditative state of pleasure today.

There is an indescribable peace in the thought of your head touching a clean pillow cover that night, in seeing a clear reflection of yourself (post-shower) in a sparkling mirror, and in your room smelling almost like the freshness outside.

When I came out of the shower, the rain had stopped, the mist had cleared and the sky had turned a bright shade of blue. As a reward to myself for having been so good, I went for a small walk in the park next to my house.

The sun had set and my mouth (for no fault or conscious decision on my part) hung slightly open. The park was empty except for a couple, holding hands, conversing softly. Our paths crossed and the three of us gave each other a brief glance, then continued to walk without changing our previous states – them continuing to hold hands and converse softly, me continuing to walk with my mouth open in wonder at the colour of the sky.

The sky turned from blue to orange to purple to purpleorange to dark blue and I walked without really thinking about anything at all, tracing the shapes of the trees around, noticing the dark outline of the couple, now stationary on top of the highest point of the path they chose with the North-West London skyline as their backdrop.

I looked away as they started to kiss, then continued walking, stopping only to listen to a blackbird sing, watch stars become visible to my eye and then try and distinguish between them and passing aeroplanes.

Content and calm, I started walking back home, when the hoot of an owl sliced up the air. For the next quarter of an hour, he continued to call out again and again. My immediate thought was that he sounded lonely and was aching the company of another owl. But then I had another thought - perhaps he was just announcing himself so that no one else came near him. Can owls get lonely in the way humans do? I don’t know, do you?

If today’s exercise of cleaning and how pleasurable it can be has taught me anything, it is that I need to be a little more open about how I define and connect things and emotive states.

‘Lonely’ is now a part of my ‘strong-words-that-I-need-to-be-careful-about-using’ list.

Thank you, Saturday Rain and Goodnight, dear Owl. I hope we meet again.

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