There’s a part of me that loves rainy mornings. They’re peaceful. I laid in bed this morning listening to the rain fall outside my window and the splash of an occasional car driving past. And I felt calm and serene. Sometimes on rainy mornings, I feel like all is well in the world.
As I think I’ve shared before, I am very affected by the weather. And by the smells weather brings. A certain feeling outside will transport me to another place. Sometimes unexpected places. Often on damp, cool, misty mornings I feel like I am in Minca – a small town in the mountains of Colombia where I spent little more than twenty-four hours of my life.
When the wind picks up on an Autumn day carrying the scent of damp, decaying leaves, I can see my grandmother’s house in Mississippi. When I traveled through Mississippi two years ago we stopped at a rest area and I just stood there breathing the air. It smelled just like Grandma’s and I had visions of Kick the Can and building wigwams and stepping in fire ant piles. The same trees must have been the ones most prevalent on her property.
This morning, however, as I stepped outside to go to work and walked the path from my car to my office, I was happy. I was fully enjoying this rainy morning, but I was not transported. I was still here in my own skin, in my own city, in my current life. And I can only surmise that must mean that I am content.
This isn’t a revelation. I’ve known this for some time. And acknowledged it openly. But sometimes it still surprises me.
Because content is never something I really expected to be. Content isn’t something I really wanted to be. Content is of the same vein as settled. And settled has always been a preposterous word to me. To use the adjective settled when referring to myself seems almost blasphemous. And so, you can understand why sometimes I remember how content I am and am taken aback. And led into self-reflection of how it is that this contentedness settled into my life.
What I think I have discovered this time around is that settled and content are not the same. Many people feel settled and not content and likewise many feel content and are far from settled. In fact, some people have the enviable ability to feel content at most junctures of their lives and starting from a very young age. Perhaps they had a healthier relationship with the word content than I have had in the past.
So while settled and I still aren’t quite on speaking terms, I embrace contentedness in all of its various forms. I embrace it like a long-time friend that you suddenly realize you love hanging out with. I embrace it like an unexpected batch of chocolate chip cookies. I embrace it in the same way I am determined to embrace life daily. With ferocity and loyalty and passion.