When Spring Sprung a Leak -- It Wasn’t so Bad
By Bonnie Toomey
Drips plummet from the ceiling, one by one, tap dancing into a new brigade of buckets and pots.
I let out a sigh and the towel does little to sop up my growing concern over the wet windowsill and damp floor. Stronger are the images of water stains, rot and black mold beginning to seep in when a series of fine droplets arc back up out of their vessels and find their way to my bare feet.
The stubborn snow in the roof valleys is finally giving way to climbing temperatures, and as if vying for my attention, the sun pours in through the windows compelling me to let the interior grumbling about potential water damage go. It feels good to bask in the hypnotic light for a moment and soak up the rays that are flooding the room.
Suddenly, serenity is swept away by a deluge of melting snow which sends a dancing curtain of water down past the windows just as a pool of cool water trickles under my toes. Finding balance when things don’t go as planned is the first solution, but it’s not always easy to align the planets when it’s raining on your kitchen table.
This week ushered in a super moon and the vernal equinox, marking the moment when daytime and nighttime come as close to equals as possible. Equilibrium ecstasy in the ecosphere, celestially speaking. The words together trickle across the tongue spilling youth and balance, and spilling water from the leaky roof into our kitchen. I could for a nanosecond conjure the sound of water falling in a lush cave or a tropical rainforest, but I tend to be the glass half empty kind of thinker, always in what I like to call, preventative mode. Steve is most likely lying in a lawn chair right smack in the middle of that aforementioned paradise, but the stacks of shingles we didn’t get to last fall, half buried in a snow bank in the yard, grab my eye, and instead I envision a shipwreck on a deserted island and a washed up a bottle containing a single message with just one word scrawled, “why?”
Spring is here and the fact that the unfinished section of roof has sprung a leak should not be so surprising. Steve is satisfied that the preliminary base of high tech superiority engineered and moisture resistant plywood zip system has done its job through the winter. Yes, but spring is here. I locate where the sticky seam has lifted.
I pull my jacket off it’s hook and walk out the door leaving the rain inside my house behind. With each step, mold and rot begin to give way to the warming air and when I close my eyes, I’m almost there, on a palm-treed beach drinking a coconut concoction. Halfway up the hill my gloves are stuffed into my pockets and when I reach the top, my coat is cinched around my waist.
Around the bend I trade nods with my neighbor, Mike. He’s heading to his wood lot in his white pickup. The brightness of the day glints off the truck cab mirror and casts his steely hair in silvery tones. He cracks a weathered smile, a twinkle in his eyes.
“A little more like it,” he says, his window rolled all the way down. He obviously doesn’t know about the leak and I’m not saying anything, but he’s right, this is a little more like it.
“A little more like it,” I echo, my hat in my hand.
Mike then quips: “Enjoy it. Next week it’ll be in single digits.”
I walk and the leak in the roof is farther away, or perhaps it’s closer than ever, a reminder that everything changes, everything moves, life is a work in progress and that process never stops. We’re always fixing and devising ways to live better. Right now the snowmelt flows to points low and I move farther and farther away from the house, away from the hole in the roof, a witness to the slow birthing of snowbanks to the earth and air, to a newly shaped world of minuscule rivers and miniature lakes, to the urgency of rivulets racing to destinations settling deep below our wells and hitching rides in the tug of a waking river, and diving into the depths of the purest sea half way across the world only to lift like birds up into the clouds and sail back to mountain tops to start the journey once more.
And so the snow melts. It pushes and lifts and aerates and heaves and breaks down until only the last patches are left to meet the rain and burble to babbling and spilling into a plethora of waterways, each churning and bubbling into an earthen caramel, carrying minerals to the ecosystems it blesses and carrying me to marvel at its lively banks, no matter how small they happen to be.
And that sprung leak to be shingled doesn’t seem so big and bad after all, in fact, it seems to represent all that is great and good in the world. I’m filling my glass and toasting to spring.
Bonnie J. Toomey teaches at Plymouth State University, writes about writing, learning, and life in the 21st century. You can follow Parent Forward on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bonniejtoomey . Learn more at www.parentforward.blogspot.com or visit bonniejtoomey.com