Reflections on Sunday Mornings

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I woke up that morning to rain pounding on the windowsill, little droplets colliding against the glass, hurling themselves against it like kamikaze pilots. From downstairs, the clatter of plates and silverware meant that my parents were already awake, scrambling eggs and cooking sausage in well-worn pans on the gas range. I roll over, trying not to wake my little sister, still sleeping soundly on the other side of the bed. She’d probably crawled into the bed early in the morning, before I’d woken up. She stirs gently as I fumble for the light switch. “Is it morning yet?”

Yes. Yes, it is, and we must get up to get ready for church. She makes a face when I tell her this, and stretches under the patchwork quilt. “It’s too wet outside.” I open the curtain, and stare out the dripping glass. The crabapple tree in the front yard is soaked and bare – it would look dead, if not for the green buds beginning to form along its branches. The water in the road collects into grey puddles in ruts and holes that my father has yet to fill. Once a year, he’ll take out the tractor and attempt to level the road, but the holes return in one, two, three weeks, when the next rainfall occurs. Then, the water runs in deep rivers down the driveway, skipping along the barn road, collecting in soggy patches of grass by the glistening barns.

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The rooster and a couple of hens tiptoe through the yard, lifting each foot and placing it down again with distaste. It’s too wet for them to be outside, but too dreary for them to remain indoors. One of the hens finds a bug in the grass, her damp tailfeathers quaver as she dives for it, now ignorant of the rain that steadily pours down around her.

My sister is now at my shoulder. “Nanny. What dress should I wear?” She holds up a few hangers, and we discuss what would be best to wear in the rain. I’m personally leaning towards pants and a nice top – it’s too wet outside for dresses, but Grace is already zipping on one of her favorites. I help her reach the last few inches, pulling the zipper up to the nape of her neck. I braid her hair, she attempts to braid mine. I slip to the next bedroom, where another sister is pulling a brush through her own hair. She pulls mine into a loose updo, her small, white fingers fastening a barrette, and poking bobby pins against my skull.

All four of us trample down the stairs, in varying states of dress. Hannah’s still in her pajamas, but her hair is perfectly curled, while Lauren is the image of perfection in a flowing dress. Grace is ready, and I’m still indecisive about my outfit. We are a funny sight, lining up to ferry plates and bowls to the dining room table, as my father sits at the kitchen table discussing an article that I think is about farming philosophy, but it could easily be about the state of the church. My mother nods occasionally, still facing the stove, where she cuts up gluten-free bread into thick slices and dips them in butter before placing them on plates. The rain is now a steady drizzle, and I can see the grey sky brighten through the kitchen window, even as the chickens, now soaked, run back to their coop…

next up: about me pt 2, more photos from Spain…

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