Street lights shine down throughout my neighborhood, but I was wishing I’d brought a flashlight nonetheless when I went out earlier this evening with my umbrella to deliver a package that had been delivered to the wrong house. In this town we have confusing arrangements of names and streets. Today’s error resulted from something like this: One address is 5211 Fred St and the other is 5211 Frank St, with Fred and Frank being short loops off of Fritz St.
Our mixed-up houses are only two blocks from each other, so it didn’t make sense to drive over there. I would get wetter climbing in and out of the car than if I just took a short walk. I had to strain to see the house numbers, even the ones that have a light behind them. Until I got my bearings I took a few steps up two or three driveways in order to read the addresses.
Rivers of water flowed across the sidewalks, in many places pooling into lakes before they reached the gutter. But that’s not a problem if you have sturdy galoshes like mine. I found that my mind was singing the first stanza of a poem that I learned from Goldilocks when she came for her sewing lesson yesterday, barefoot because her boots had gotten soaked at recess.
This very night her school is having a fundraiser and all the students are reciting together:
It hain’t no use to grumble and complane;
It’s jest as cheap and easy to rejoice.—
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain,
W’y rain’s my choice.
That’s only the first fun verse of James Whitcomb Riley’s “Wet-weather Talk.” I bet the children are all glad that we’ve been having steady downpours for a few days, because that will help the audience get into the spirit of the poem that goes on for a few more stanzas exhorting us not to be “lockin’ horns with Providence.”
We are likely to rejoice in rain here in dry California. I was also happy to go on a little expedition, and only slightly disappointed when no one answered the door; I left the package on the step and came home again. I passed a man whose taxi was just driving away, and he laughed and said, “Another fine night for a walk!” and I answered with the other lyrics that popped into my head, “Splish splash…I’ll be takin’ a bath….”
But no, I wasn’t even very damp when I came in the door to the lovely warm fire that I’d got going a little earlier. The time to write this blog post was also here. It is certainly easy to rejoice when Providence gives me opportunities and the strength to take them.
Of course, other days rejoicing can cost more. But “sufficient to the day is the evil thereof,” as the Bible says somewhere. I don’t think I need to worry about those other days right now. A Russian proverb says, “Every day is a messenger of God.” My little delivery errand turned out to be a gift to myself, and that could only come from God.