01 May A Day of Good Tears
Sunday, May 1, 2022
I hope this writing finds you enjoying a lovely Sunday, from sun-up to sundown! As the title suggests, I have had a day this past week about which I must tell you. If a person believed in otherworldly happenstances, I might claim that todays weather reminds me of such a day.
Today, in my physical location, the rain comes in waves for the past two days. The forecast certainly calls for improvement by next weekend. On this particular day, the gloominess, the slight chill and the rain drenches through spirits. It is as if Mother Nature herself weeps.
Last Wednesday I had at least four incidents which prompted tears from me. Some of the occurrences truly did not need tears, but they came at what has felt like a long road. Each one signified an end.
(which in turn means a beginning, yes?)
The first good news of the day regarded a family members health. When test results are waited, then they arrive with blessings of news which cause one to fill a day with gratitude. And they cause a look ahead when a person least expected. It’s that look in the eyes which brought tears to mine.
That morning too was chilled and rain-filled, just as today. I was getting updated on fire extinguisher inspections and fire department facility inspections. They both were long overdue but both entities had understood my delay. I had promised to comply. Nothing feels any lovelier for one’s ease of mind than the fulfillment of a promise.
Tears (and a smile) came as I welcomed, then bid them farewell through the Main Street door.
My next visitors were a husband and wife. The husband’s father had been the director of the vocational technical school. As the conversation began, I did most of the listening while he spoke. A kindly man he was with the well worn speech of precision.
He detailed the history of the building with anecdotes from the perspective of a young man who had helped his father.
”In the early 1930’s, Mr. Stange purchased the building – the very same building he had served as a board director. The gentleman intended to remodel for an auditorium and community hall.”
”The building became the school because the Wisconsin National Guard needed a building for the Defense Training Program. It’s Battery F was housed at the building.
Without any aid or script, he continued sharing his stories. I stood with him and his wife. I could no longer contain myself. Tears. The couple was taken aback but I had hoped an explanation would solve any concerns they may have had.
”Please, thank you so much for sharing your history with the building.” He spoke of both the histories he had lived there and that of a time about which he had been told.
”To have you here, with stories, is so precious. Thank you so much.”Eventually I composed myself to continue with the tour.
Under his arm, in a clipboard portfolio, he withdrew a document. Spaced articulately and formatted perfectly, the document stared at me. There it was, the outline of the building’s history.
We promised to touch base again.
While the head covering might seem overdone, I guarantee it later proved not to be. I swept and vacuumed, cleaning and planning. As I inched forward with progress, I noticed I could plan more clearly. Answers became obvious.
I decided to trim the dangling metal strips from the ceiling. Now, I have climbed ladders and I have dangled myself in second story window openings. I have crawled through attic eaves and rafters to shimmy up to a roof opening.
Until that day I had never fallen. Until that day.
I pay a great deal of attention to my feet and my climbs. But I was descending. I missed the last two rungs.
I landed on my wrists and my derrière. I had worn my helmet for falling object protection. I never considered the protection it would serve should my head snap back in a fall.
And it did. I snapped. The helmet bounced off my head, then rolled away. I lay stunned in a high pitched whine. I wiggled my toes. I wiggled my fingers. I was shook, but I was fine.
I was fine. And I cried. I was ok.
Four days later, my wrists still feel the pain of concrete. But that fall could have been so much worse.
I started up the ladder again then realized I could perhaps take a break from such activity.
“Sweep, Steph. Sweep.”
Such a story of weepy days, but it is such a story of history, of time and peoples lives intertwining.
Is that not the beauty of it all? The challenge to me is the honoring of the lives entwined here in the art of a building.
Thank you all so much! I hope your first week of May be filled with blossoms and songs of the earth.