Texas is surprisingly cool for mid-July. The high today is only 90. Clouds cover the sky like a soft gray coverlet, save for a soft white glow on the horizon. I haven't been outside yet today; I slept in and now I fully intend on taking advantage of my day off to relax.
I was hoping to pick up a shift today. After spending yesterday shopping and tutoring and enjoying a surprise visit from a friend, though, I'm glad I didn't sign up for anything. Cloudy days, when they come in moderation, are some of my favorite days.
On cloudy days, I can open my curtains and peer out at the empty field behind my house. Queen Anne's Lace is in season--wild carrot. The white blooms dot my vision. I've tried eating the roots before. They taste only vaguely like carrots and are almost too woody to chew. Dandelions, on the other hand--the flowers are delicious and the leaves make a good salad. Those grow earlier in the spring, though.
On cloudy days, I can curl up with a good book. There's something about the dim light from the windows that makes novels come to life and the real world melt away. Cloudy days make blankets seem more inviting and beds more comfortable.
On cloudy days, I'll work on my yarncrafts. Knitting dishrags and mending crocheted blankets can be hot work on sunny days. Rain makes the day even better--I can listen to the pattering of raindrops on the roof and revel in the peals of thunder as they drown out the clicking of my bamboo needles.
The clouds are clearing now. Perhaps they'll come back; you can never tell what Texas weather is going to do. Living here gives you the sense that this is still wild land, untamed land. You cannot predict or control it, only coexist with the heat and the thorns and the wildlife.
But while it is still cloudy, I will enjoy today.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.