Monday, October 24, 2011


It was a cold and croupy night; the coughs came in torrents -- except at occasional intervals, when they were checked by snuffles which rattled through sinus and chest (for it was in bed that our family lay), barking germs through the house, and fiercely agitating brochii and bronchioli as lungs struggled to stay functional.

When day broke, so did the bathroom ceiling (again). A stream of water poured in rivulets through the just-repaired wallboard, pooling behind paint, diverting itself in a myriad of directions until, following the irresistible forces of inhuman nature, it found its release by the steam riser. Plunk! Plunk! Plunk! The drops fell in succession, gathering force, spraying forth in Pollockian array across medicine cabinet and tile, rivulets of rust and dust forming a legend on the wall, the palmistry of which only the building manager will be able to decipher.

I ate hot pumpkin bread and drank tea. No coffee, for the milk was tepid, a victim of a refrigerator door cruelly left ajar through the cough-filled night.

Children were roused and fed and dressed. We sang a hymn, recited a Psalm. The sun flickered brightly on the changing leaves of trees on the other side of the river. As one child instructed another in a writing lesson, I hammered out the last lines of an almost-overdue freelance assignment. The phone rang, then rang again, and again. There was good news, and unhappy news, and just-so news, and a few remaining spaces on my overcrowded date book filled in.

Math was completed, papers written, one wrist was sprained, many tissues sniffled into, a lifesize Origami Yoda was made from butcher paper, scooters were ridden, fresh pumpkin seeds were baked and munched. Homemade matzoh ball soup is on the stove for supper.

In the end, it was only the teary bathroom wall that cried. The rest of us chose to find joy where we could.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! Haven't we all had days (and nights) like those! Blessings that today will smile sunshine and clear heads on you and yours.