As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?
It’s pouring with rain and blowing the sort of gale that shrieks around corners.
Normally, I’d be snarling like a trapped dog, my regular August grump ratcheted up several notches by what I knew full well to be the weather’s personal insult to my sorry self. But today, I’m feeling positively chirpy.
Hah! That fooled you!
Surprisingly, though, I’m not blind to the big picture. We needed the rain. The country is brown and dry: not good for the farmers, not good for the water supply, dangerously good for the spread of bushfires. Not the way you want to approach the summer.
But while I’d like to claim that’s the whole motivation for my pleasure in the current downpour, I cannot tell a lie. I’m also revelling in the triumph of having dodged a bullet.It was my daughter’s birthday at the weekend – cue for a visit. But the weather south of here was truly atrocious last week, and I was having second thoughts. Driving in the rain is one thing. Driving into the maw of a fire hose aimed at the windscreen is plain foolhardy. You can’t see more than the tail lights in front of you (assuming there are some) and you can’t pull over: the edge of the road has vanished, and besides, hazard lights or not, you’re a sitting target for the next poor fool to come along.
But come Friday, it was sort of reasonable-looking, so gathered my scattered self and took the risk. Excellent choice! The rain held off, seeing everyone is always a treat, youngest daughter was suitably celebrated, and middle daughter uploaded my ebook. Ta-da!
But on Monday, the same dilemma arose: travel today, or hope tomorrow is more promising? Again, I took the risk, and apart from a ten-minute bucket-down at Bulla, it was all good. And on Tuesday? The gods let it rip.
So yes, August is going out with a bang, and I’m sitting here with an idiot smile among the wrinkles, knowing there was a window of opportunity to do what I wanted to do, and I picked it. I can curl up under my own doona at night, listening to the rain battering the roof and overflowing the gutters, and the wind screaming with frustration at being locked out, and revel in being safely home. This is true bliss.
As for the end of summer/back to school issue – that’s January, and unmitigated horror. Another story for another day.