There is a place, tucked away from the world and hidden in plain sight, that I have fallen in love with. In the farthest corner of the library, where wide open windows meet cream-colored walls, there are two chairs. They are very simple chairs. Plain even. From a distance, they appear to be the faded brown of an antique carpet. The chairs have low backs, lower legs, and high arms. Simple.
But if you look closer, you can see the rich maroon thread woven into the faded brown, crisscrossed by emerald and marigold gems. The backs are low, but that is hidden by their secret plump and comfort. The high arms are worn at the edges like an old friend has spent too much time there enjoying a good book. The low legs disguise a full mahogany frame. The chairs do look like antiques, but ones that are rich and bursting with stories.
When you sit in these chairs, you turn your back on the world. All you can see is the rich history of the chair beside you and the wide open spaces peering back at you through the window. A thin, spindly tree dances just outside, its small, perfect leaves still vivid lime-green in the midst of November. The deep, black wood glistens with the rain of a winter day, which slides down the window and creates a thousand crystal mirrors reflecting back this world.
I never understood why people used to say that rain was the clouds’ tears. It doesn’t seem possible to me. Not in moments like this, when the rain clears away all that is bad and gives birth to a new world. This rain cleanses the earth and sets it back on its feet. The desperate soil cries with joy when the soft hands of rain quench its thirst. The tree has a dancing partner, leaves swinging and swirling in the rain’s excited hands. And perhaps most beautifully, the rain paints me a picture on my window, each drop encapsulating the joy and beauty and love this world has to offer.
And from the vantage point of this small chair with the big stories, all I can see are the clouds’ tears of joy.
–Kathleen K ’15