Wednesday, October 23, 2013
After days of perfect weather, we expect rain – cold, brutal, bone-chilling rain – that alters the seasons and puts us firmly in Autumn.
This year’s quick jaunt to Cape May left no real time to adjust, and it is difficult for me to remember the cheerful chill standing on the beach pre-dawn Saturday with the kiss of a gentler rain on my cheeks.
I have photographs of that moment, and the long walk I took along the lip of waves from the point near the tip of the cape to where the promenade starts.
Being alone there is a kind of meditation I don’t even need my usual yoga routine to reach the way I do in the city.
It just washes over me.
Later with the rain still heavy in the air that day, we drove to the old motel, parked and made our way down the promenade as part of the old ritual of walking from motel to George’s for breakfast – passed the parade of Victorian houses, and the handful of shops that mark the beach side.
George’s today isn’t the George’s from twenty something years ago. His kids run it now, and though the food is just as good, we’ve changed. I eat less heavily, so the traditional multi-cheese omelet and home fries and toast did not sit as well with me, and took significant walking off, but warned me against it the next day when I had oatmeal instead.
Sunlight came out for a brief stroll back up to the car along the beach, and some of our old friends, sandpipers and other birds greeted us, although we did not see dolphins until our last stroll on the beach on Sunday.
Then, rain came again, and we took refuge under awnings along the Washington Street Mall as we tried to buy tickets for the play later that night.
We used to go to two plays each time we came south, but shorter trips forced us to choose between two companies. The one company this year moved out of the old church and too far up the parkway for us to walk to, so we settled for the play in town.
But the usual ticket booth on the mall did not have any left and we had to go to the theater’s office – which turned out to be a lady with a computer underneath a set of stairs in a coffee house at the other end of the mall. Here, I drank coffee while we went through the ritual of getting seats reserved, and then back out into the rain we went, wandering through drenched streets, searching for activities we could do indoors.
There was a confusing bit in the local magazine about the history of a local hotel, but when we went to the hotel, we found that the exhibit was being held in the coach house of another prominent historic house. Such a shame since I wanted to see the interior of the hotel.
We walked to the other house, and read about the history, and then returned exhausted to the motel, choosing to sleep out the rain rather than get wet by it, at least until supper time, and dinner at Casey’s – again forced to stall for time between the early bird special and curtain call at the theater – after which we went back out to listen to a local band.
But that rain is different from the rain that peppers the City of Bayonne as I speak, a kinder rain that did not bring about the dramatic changes that this one will.
Last year this time, we were already getting warnings about an even more terrible storm, the aftermath of which we still get rumblings of. That year, 2012, was a tough year with a tough ending, we seem to have avoided this year. Perhaps some inner part of me has made peace with the world and no longer fears the terrible wrath of mother nature as we move from one season to the next. Rains like today bring sadness, but not despair, bring the idea of change without the fear that we cannot recover from it.
Sometimes, on days like this with rains like these, all we need to do is button up a little tighter and make the best of it we can, knowing that this is far less furious than what we have already endured.