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KISSED BY THE RAIN
16 December 2014
The parking lot was dotted with a rainbow of umbrellas, bobbing up and down as patients rushed toward the entrance of the medical office building.
I had come to Kaiser in Vacaville to meet my new therapist. It was time. I knew when I found myself sitting in the car at Atria a week or so ago screaming at the top of my lungs that I needed to Seek Help.
The drive down to Vacaville had been scary. It had not been raining all that much when I left home, but by the time I got to the freeway, it was pouring, the kind of pouring where the rain coming down combined with the rain being splashed up by the cars in front of me made it almost impossible to see. It was definitely a white knuckle drive.
I had not been to the Vacaville Kaiser facility before and I learned that our GPS is so old that I could not put in the address because it did not recognize the street. But it's a big facility sitting out in the middle of nowhere, so how hard would it be to find it?
Well...more difficult than you would expect. Yes, there was the big complex but it was unclear where I was to go. I was supposed to be in Building A and there were four buildings there. I went looking for "Quality Drive" and couldn't find it, so turned in at the last entrance, the Emergency room. There was a big map there so I could get an idea of the layout of the place.
With my unerring sense of direction (I am always wrong), I managed to find the parking lot farthest from Building A. But at least I had a parking space. As I got out of the car, in the rain, people rushed by me, huddled in their parkas, bent over with hoods on their heads.
I had not worn a coat. I was in a long sleeved shirt, slacks, and my ubiquitous Birkenstocks (in retrospect, perhaps the Birkenstocks were not a wise decision!). Of course I had no umbrella.
As I walked to the building (I didn't know yet that I was a very long way from Building A) I was loving it. Yes, it was raining. A moderate amount, but it was delightful. I have always loved the rain and we have had so little of it in the past three years, I was happy to enjoy every drop of it and to, as Langston Hughes said, Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
It wasn't cold and I felt sorry for those people trying to hold their coats close to their bodies, and fumble awkwardly to get the hoods over their heads. It wasn't bad at all...my socks didn't even get very wet, and I was loving the opportunity to feel the rain on my face.
One of my fondest Christmas memories of my childhood is sitting in the window seat of our flat, with the Christmas tree behind me, and watching the rain falling outside, the cars struggling to get up the hill and people holding onto their umbrellas and negotiate the steep slope of our hill. It is a memory that makes me feel warm and cozy.
I love lying in bed and listening to the rain on the roof and splattering against the windows. Again, it is an experience that makes me feel warm and cozy, though we have very little opportunity to experience that these days, so I'm loving this storm and glad to see it is continuing for a couple more days.
It turned out I was parked near Building B and had to walk the distance of that building, across a courtyard (more chance for rain) and the distance of Building A, and then with my unerring sense of direction, turning the wrong way and walking the whole distance of the building before realizing that the station I wanted was behind me.
My new therapist is named Debbie and I love her. Not quite my age, but no young thing either, zaftig, practical and very easy to talk to. She is putting me back on an anti-depressant and getting me to try meditation. She also had some practical ideas for dealing with my mother.
I see her again in January.
It had stopped raining by the time I went
back to the car, so I missed another walk in the rain, but at least the ride
home was less scary.
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