the blessing of an eeyore day
count me in the company of arthur wellesley, 1st duke of wellington, and eeyore, the donkey with the pinned-on tail. mistake us not for misanthropes of the first order, but rather aficionados of the rainy day. the gloomy day. the day when it seems the heavens have dropped down an afghan the color of soot, and punctuated it with the drippings of a long and leaky pipe.
wellesley, you might recognize, was the fellow who thought to rubberize his war boots, back in the early days of the 19th century — voila, “the wellie.” eeyore, well, hopefully, you know him from the early pages of a.a. milne’s “the house at pooh corner,” the titular house being the one constructed of sticks and twigs to give poor gloomy eeyore a place to cower from whatever poured from high above.
it’s been months and months since anyone around here woke up to the ping-ping-ping of precipitation pouncing against the downspouts. or rat-a-tat, hard upon the windowpanes. and when’s the last time the squawking voice in the radio box spewed the onomatopoeic forecast “drizzle,” all morning long? pureed with fog and mist.
to borrow a line from john hersey’s “hiroshima,” maybe it’s merely an “irresistible atavistic urge to hide under leaves.” or maybe it’s the irish in me, most at home when the thinning between heaven and earth is all a blur, and we face the day cloaked in skein upon skein of sheep sacrifice.
i fear i might have been the little child who, when faced with a crayola super pack of 64 waxen sticks, grabbed straight for the shadowed hues, charcoal gray and periwinkle (colors added in 1949), ignoring altogether the sunnier, carnation pink and aquamarine (both ’49ers, as well).
it’s the depth of texture i find in gray days, in sodden days. there’s something to sink into, to rub up against — even if it waterlogs your socks.
perhaps it’s my fondness for worms, which come out to play when sidewalks slick and water gurgles up from the thawing terrestrial ooze.
but i’ve a hunch it all circles back to page 11, of pooh’s corner, the page on which the world of children’s literature, and generations curled on mama’s and papa’s laps, first met the sad-eyed donkey, in this little exchange that might be the battle cry of the glass-half-full brigade:
“hallo, eeyore,” said christopher robin, as he opened the door and came out. “how are you?”
“it’s snowing still,” said eeyore gloomily.
“so it is.”
“yes,” said eeyore. “however,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
who could not fall hard — and forever — for a four-legged prognosticator who works so hard to find a shard of light amid the endless shadow?
no earthquake lately, indeed. nothing but the silent falling snow. and cold that takes your breath away without a word. so what’s not to delight with the noisy brand of precipitation? the pit-a-pat that lulls you into dreamland, and syncopates your morning’s rhythm?
it’s but a whisper in the world beyond our windows, but it’s one that draws me in, and holds me close. and i consider it a blessing. the blessing of an eeyore day.
short, sweet, simple. more like weather dispatch with a bit of muse. or maybe just excuse to pull an old favorite from the bookshelf. i’m headed out for worm patrol any minute now, that long-held mission to save all squirmy things from dry-docked death.
when you were little, what color did you grab primarily from the crayon box? and what might that say about your natural-born palette? and in the silly questions department, who was your favorite character from the 100-acre wood? pooh? piglet? christopher robin? or, mine, eeyore? (truth is, i love them each and all.)
Oh sweet worm-saving sister! To know that someone else picks them up and deposits them safely back in the earth to help the garden grow. To see them laying helpless on the drying pavement is just too sad. The sun is finally out here after a rainy morning so I am going on duty too!
worm sister! there’s a fine one!! xoxo
For me it is always Eeyore. One of my husband’s Irish relatives even brought me a suffed one once. The British version is charcoal gray – not Disney lavender!
Can’t wait to see your book when it comes out – please travel to dc on the book tour,
All the best,
Love those Brits!! Go charcoal. Oh, that I get to circle through our nation’s capital. My sweet boy will be living there this summer. Where? Who knows? College kids don’t worry about details like where to sleep. Or TO sleep….
Ah Eeyore…recently read something on the dear funny guy that I will try to express. The essence was that soft gray Eeyore people are important as they provide a ballast of sorts to all the bright sunny people. Eeyore created balance and a pause in the action in stories. The beauty of the friendship of the wonderful characters in the Hundred Acre Wood is that they loved Eeyore just because he was Eeyore. No one suggested he go to therapy, brighten up, take meds. He was valued and loved as he was. He was not “dysfunctional”, but just had another view of things. I liked that and took it to heart. We need all the colors and shades in our world.
Love this. Of course. The beauty of gray streaked with cloudy. Xox
Hello Barb, Loved this one…I loved Winnie. About 12 years ago, my wife and I took our 3 year old to the Village of Hartfield in England so she could see the real Poohsticks bridge…she fell asleep in the stroller and she never woke up to see it. lol Gary
Classic. Perfect. There IS a real bridge?!? Book me a flight.
Always ready for a bargain, I liked the two-for-one Kanga and little Roo. Kanga, kind, firm, gave dear little Roo a long leash, and gentle remonstances to behave nicely. And little Roo, ready for fun, everyone’s his friend, then happy to be back with momma.
Colors? Well, that’s where my language love got in the way. Yellow green and green yellow? Blue green and green blue? Burnt umber? What’s umber, and what color is it when it isn’t burnt? And Flesh? However you used it, it didn’t look like anyone’s flesh, certainly not my fair Scandinavian wisp. Thank goodness they changed the name to peach. Cadet blue, because I longed to be either a cadet Girl Scout or in military school (must have been a book I read). Sky blue and forest green, because I forever love a day out in the woods. Maybe…the Hundred Aker Wood?
notherbarb, yes, you make the 2-for-1s irresistible. and they are. fact is, it’s impossible to pick a favorite among the flock. one by one, i could list fine reasons for each and every one.
love your color riff. umber. i’d forgotten about umber. oh those sticks with papered-on identities. how many little imaginations did they launch — in words or colors depending on how the little minds were wired.
And Flesh to Peach reminds me that, long ago, one of my nieces visited our diverse section of the city for some days. She was 4. She returned to her little “not so diverse” suburb outside Cleveland. One afternoon while working with her Crayola crayons to create some masterpiece, she asked my sister, “Why do we only have Peach People here”?
I was a Magenta girl myself. 🙂