A girl in a room reading a book on a rainy day. I have a clear vision of this, the girl in a checked dress with puffed sleeves, dark brown hair with enough curl to curve at her shoulders, dark lashes covering her eyes as she looks down at the book. The happiness of reading inside on a rainy day.
This image is strong and comes to me on rainy days when I think, Ugh, rain. The alternative cozy image of this girl appears and reminds me of a nicer version. Adult life is so full of arduous details—pay this bill, put off that one, organize this appointment, ignore that one, lament housework done and (mostly) undone. A simple vision of a girl in a room reading a book on a rainy day is a soothing anodyne.
I don’t know where the image comes from. I believe it comes from a book. Not an illustrated book. A book I read as a child and I conjured this picture from an author’s words. Sometimes I dream this image and am soothed, but sometimes the girl goes out into the rain, putting on her rain gear, and I sigh. Don’t leave the book. Don’t go out into the rain.
I read a book a day or more when I was 10. I can’t reread all the books I read from childhood. I’m curious about the source of this vivid and comforting image, but I don’t think I can ever retrieve it. Nevertheless, I have it. It is mine. It is a goal on a rainy day, to put aside bills, paid and unpaid, to put off housework even longer, to get lost in a book in a room on a rainy day.