I struggle with sleep throughout the night, the rain, humidity and my pounding head keep me tossing and turning. Still I drag myself out of bed on a lazy Sunday morning and head for the soccer pitch. The usual friendly faces, minus a few who are suffering the consequences of a team pub crawl the day before, greet me in their usual way, telling jokes and teasing. I am the only woman who regularly plays in this male dominated club and they enjoy subjecting me to locker room humor, and I don’t mind at all.
Despite the heat we play a fast pace first half, twice I think I might vomit. By the second half, having had the unusually high humidity suck the life right out of us, we cut the play to thirty minutes, instead of the usual forty-five. I am grateful as my migraine meds have made me extremely nauseous and I am ready to hang up my cleats. Hot as hell, I blast my air conditioning on the drive home, knowing as soon as I arrive I am headed for a nap on my balcony.
As I climb the stairs to my bedroom I strip off my sweaty gear. After tossing the mess into the hamper, I glance at my nightstand, taking a quick inventory of my stack of partially read books. I choose the one I like the least, but has me the most intrigued. Grabbing my hat and sunglasses, I make my way out to the balcony, and collapse onto the lounge chair. I choose sunbathing on my patio over the beach for two reasons. First, I can sunbathe sans the swimsuit. I hate tan lines. And second, I can lay snoring and drooling with my mouth hanging open in the privacy of my own home, a pretty picture I know.
I make several attempts at reading, holding the paperback above my head, shading my face. I fight to keep my eyes open, my arm jerks as I nearly dropped the book on my face, reading and re-reading paragraphs and whole pages. Finally, I give up, setting the book aside. In the sauna-like conditions, sweat pools in my belly button, spilling down my sides. I doze in and out of sleep , the best sleep I have had in days.
Groggy and full of sun, my head tells me it’s time to shower, time to move, but my body is limp, energy zapped. I lay there and contemplate continuing my nap on the cold tile of the shower floor. I force myself to make my way inside. Turning on the water, I don’t wait for it to heat, I enter the shower and sit on the tile bench with my back against the wall, shivering and then warm. My eyes are closed and I ponder what I’ll do next with my day, a visit with a girlfriend, or maybe my grandson. I feel out of sorts . . . and I’m not sure why.
Neither plan pans out, my headache returns, I decide to ride my bike to grab a juice. Maybe I just need a boost. The humidity has the clouds wanting to burst, the air has cooled. As I ride my bike, big heavy drops of rain begin to fall . . . rare for the beach and this time of year . . . and so, so beautiful. I immediately wish someone was riding with me. This moment is too good not to share. . . but it won’t be shared today.
I used to believe that unshared moments were lost forever. But I was wrong. While they may not be shared in the moment, they reside in my heart, stored for safe keeping. They make their way into my daily thoughts, making my day brighter. Their stories can be told, and with careful retelling, another beautiful moment can be made. It’s magical really. Funny to find such beauty in unseasonable weather, weather that has had everyone including me complaining for days.
I am beginning to understand gratitude . . .