Last night’s rain gave me excuse to not find sleep. I listened to the rain and smiled, hearing in my head the joyful thanks of the citrus and produce farmers. I knew that I was not the only valley resident listening to this wonderful sound.
The promised rain of today has been scant. The solid gray sky and wet cold humidity have seemed the more familiar upper gulf coast’s winter day. I like this weather. It gives me chance to spend a day in my own little corner:
I don’t think I’ve ever confessed this to anyone although my mother knew: I loved the Cinderella TV movie of my childhood. My one and only understanding of this story was produced for TV in 1965 and “introduced” Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella. I watched that rendition of the stilted storyline who knows how many times; enough times to hear in my mind (even today) Ms. Warren’s voice--whether in speech or song; enough to still picture her gown as she walked down those steps to the ballroom; and most especially enough to personalize the dreams she dreamed from her own little corner—that tune and lyrics still play in my head today. “I can be whatever I want to be.”
I could laugh at myself (as you may be) for so loving the Cinderella story. Certainly it did not influence me in the ways one might assume: forget the fancy clothes—if it’s not cotton, don’t bother me. Forget the idea of a prince entering my teenage world where my home was no safe haven—it never crossed my mind to want a prince, much less hope for one. But when I stop and think about it, I realize that I was probably greatly influenced by that 1965 movie that was broadcast year after year during several of my impressionable childhood years.
Quite simply, I latched on to Cinderella’s capacity to daydream herself into the best of opportunity--whenever she had alone time. She was not a “woe is me” personality. She was a character that found her inner strength in solitude (OK, helped along by a fairy godmother type person that could turn a pumpkin into a carriage). But stilted story aside, it was in her moments of solitude that we saw her strength. She was honest with herself; she dreamed big dreams; she focused her introspect to give her courage rather than give her excuse. Quite simply, I latched onto the idea that a regular dose of alone time is needed to pursue my passions, find my inner strength, and ground myself to live my life. Maybe Cinderella, rather than Prince Charming, is the reason I am an introvert.
The rick-man would tell you he is still figuring out my need for alone time, and especially my need for my own little corner. But he is so good to me about supporting both. And although my winter months in the RGV teach me to spend most of my time outdoors with Mother Nature, they also teach me about living in a homestead of less than 280 square feet.
This gray day gives me opportunity to find myself in my own little corner:
I spent the beginning of this day working on my new relationship with my mountain dulcimer. And now I’ve spent the latter part of this day honing an old neglected relationship with text and photos.
But sometimes I just need alone time to sit in my own little corner and look out the window. Time to daydream; time to reflect on old friendships I treasure and sorely miss; time to miss having and being a mother; time to miss being and having a daughter.But the Cinderella story always reminds me to take precious alone time and find an inner strength; to sit in my own little corner and wonder what it is that I can be—stilted or not.