I must appear half-drowned when I walk into the library, because the librarian asks me just how bad is the weather?
I reach into my jacket and extract a few books, then slip under my sweater the one he hands me. Three-thirty in the afternoon, and a dark rain presses against the windows. The weather reminds me of Ethan Frome, of Walden, of the wildness of Dostoyevsky, the human longing for a hot hearth and candlelight over a bowl of soup.
At home, my cats — self-satisfied as cats are — are pleased they survived the visiting dogs. They’ve regained their places before the wood stove, still slightly disdainful that we’ve allowed in the canines. There’s no one out, the roads nearly deserted, the sky concealed beneath the clouds. A wet wind blows.
At home, I wash the dishes and empty the compost in the bin beneath the apple tree. A cardinal flies into the tree’s thickety branches, a welcome sight.
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it.”— Edith Wharton