Thursday Night Pasta and Poetry

Another run in the rain, this time colder and faster than the last. My shoes and shirt were sopping by the time I made it home, and after a very hot shower to warm up again, the only thing I wanted was to drink a lot of water, and then to eat a big bowl of pasta.

Sometimes all you need is a little comfort food, a little carbo-loading to ease yourself into the weekend — and in these instances I think it’s wise to give in (isn’t that what multi-vitamins are for, after all?).

A bit of butter and spaghetti, a sprinkling of parmesan, a good dash of salt and pepper … this is the stuff my weeknight dreams are made of. I certainly don’t eat like this often, but sometimes it’s essential, especially when the rain is coming down in steady streams against the windows. I put in a lot of pepper to heat up my blood after those chilly miles, and the tiniest bit of spinach made me feel like I at least nodding to my vegetable love (I did have home made vegetable soup for lunch, so all was not lost).

After our turnaround near the flower conservatory, we picked up the pace unconsciously — probably because the rain had picked up, too. It slanted into my eyes so that I could hardly see; the last few miles we were mostly silent, just concentrating on finishing up. It was energizing to be out in the cool dark, but by the time I dragged myself up the two flights of stairs to my apartment I was pretty much done in.

So all I did was: boiled some water with a bit of salt in it. Then added about two hands-full of spaghetti, broken in half. Stirred, and let cook until al dente. Then I drained and saved some of the water, returned the pasta to the pot with a sliver of butter and heated up until it melted and the pasta was hot. Added a drip of the reserved water, a good shake of pepper, a little salt, a drizzle of parmesan, and that was my sweet and easy Thursday supper.

Then I read poetry and ate a for dessert a leftover chocolate cupcake, made specially for my favorite Grecian wanderer, returned to the States at last.

Tonight I ask the universe to let this rain turn into snow that falls, soft and heavy, in wide swaths across the Sierras, blanketing the sharp mountains with that great, still quiet. And let it stay, just for a little while.

[This is long, but it’s beautiful:]

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

Mary Oliver

ETA: my friend just told me we were doing an 8:40-minute mile for 4 miles — that is fast, at least for me! I think I need to incorporate some speed work, as I won’t always be able to count on the rain to push me along.

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