I like the rain.
In it or sheltering from it, either way.
When I was about 7 or 8 I would assemble myself a little den outside the back door of my parents house. The den was technically under cover as it was between the kitchen and an outside loo, but there was no door to the garden and so it had that outside/inside feeling. The air felt different. A concrete floor, 3 doors, one to the kitchen, one to the loo, and one to the shed/store. Not a big area, it was where the wellingtons or old shoes were kept, and a vegetable rack and a peg bag up on a hook on the wall. There was just enough room for me to have a chair, which was usually a stripy old fashioned deckchair from the shed, and then arrange a blanket over my legs and sit and look at the world......like a pensioner.....not a young child. While sitting there I remember feeling safe and calm and comfortable, because I had everything I felt I needed at that point. I knew where everyone was, and although I wasn't in the house, I could go back into the house whenever I wanted to. To my right was the kitchen, and I could hear if someone was in there, or if someone was making something to eat, as you could hear the gas oven, with the door open to warm the room, blasting away. To my left was the loo, always useful, especially to me, as I seemed to need to go more often than a lot of my friends. In front of me was the garden....the outside.....green and, at that point, somewhat wild.
I remember eating a bread roll and drinking some milk out there, but not reading or colouring or much else.
Just sitting. Looking at the garden. Warm, dry, but feeling the breeze on my face and the rain in the air. Sticking out my feet so that they were just within range of the rain on the concrete and thinking that I had a choice..move them one more inch and they would get wet. Pulling my feet back in and snuggling into the deckchair.
At about the same time I would truant from school.
Our junior school was in village about half an hours walk away. I would leave for the walk to school in the morning and then hang around and return after everybody was out.
I went through a time of worrying that the house would burn down if I left it. I dreamt over and over that I walked up the road to see a smouldering ruin and gap where my house had been.
It seemed perfectly reasonable to me that if I returned home and guarded the house all day, then it would be safe. I would be safe. So I would sit, either in my den space, or in the front room for most of the day, and just, well, guard. Nothing else. No tv or reading. Perhaps just walk about making sure everything was there, touching the cushions and the cups and making mental notes of the rooms and what was in them. Then I would leave in time to 'return' at the right time.
I don't know how long this went on for. I know that the truant officer (who ironically lived in the next road to ours) did visit our house.
I told this memory to mom some years ago. ....'you always were such an anxious child' she said.....and then laughingly she added 'did you not think to dust and hoover while you were there?'.