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singing, and dancing, in the rain

Gene Kelly, Singing in the Rain, MGMThat right there?  That's me.  That's how I feel this morning.

It's been raining all night.  Really raining, not a light drizzle. Since we're leaving on vacation today I spent some time yesterday cleaning, including fresh sheets on the bed.  Fresh sheets + rain = amazing relaxed sleep.  And now I'm sitting here drinking coffee in my kitchen for the last time for a few weeks, entertained by the steady drum of rain on the skylights, the way the wind is pushing branches around outside.  

It's perfect.

Just like the first time I saw Singing in the Rain, at the Castro Theater in my neighborhood in San Francisco.  I was probably 11 or 12.  Leaving the show, every single person was dancing and singing their way down the sidewalk, hearts full of joy, feeling a little Gene Kelly to our bones.

From where I stand, the sun is shining all over the place.

* * * * *

We leave today at long last for a 2-week adventure to France.  It's been in the works for a few months, this trip, and it's been a beast to get to this point -- a beast of over-work .  But now everything's done -- well, almost everything -- and it's just a matter of closing the suitcases, dropping Mr Burns at "camp" and heading to the airport.

It's Go time.

And for once I have a moment to savor it, to take it in and enjoy the anticipation instead of rushing through it like a maniac.

To sit here listening to the rain pour down.

What a glorious feeling: I'm happy again.

* * * * *

I love packing for a trip.  I really do.  There's something so clarifying about it.  My general approach is to wash and fold everything, lay out all of my favorite things on the bed.  Then pause.  And think.  It's a process during which I prefer that no one speak to me, ask me random questions about the exchange rate or the name of the French president.

If I get my way, it's quiet. And I think.

I realize things about myself while packing.  Like packing makes my values clear.  Like what I choose to put in my suitcase is a discrete distillation of me, of all that I love most, of all that I choose not to live without -- a yoga mat, cashmere, jeans, down, boots, a lot of long-sleeve black t-shirts, and an Obama t-shirt to wear on Election Day (which I'll miss).  And hiking gear.  And coffee. And a few extra books in case I run out (I'll run out).

There's just enough space to throw in an umbrella.  You never know when I just might have a chance to wrap myself around a lamppost, turn my face to the sky and sing.

Come on with the rain, I've a smile on my face.

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