it rained terribly on monday night. enough to rip the old barn on the corner, the whitewashed one with broken windows that let the sunlight spill in, right in half. it made the local news and people are still driving their friends by to see it. the sour cherry tree in my backyard split in two. the tree that has seen births and deaths, and sunrises for the past 40 years.
and like that downpour, so the financial stresses of late have been falling. at first in small drops then in gushes. a second semester of graduate school. rent. bills on the counter. new brakes.
we have a little bench in our office at home. a wooden one with blue cushions. i sat on it last night and stared at the floorboards. thought about money. what it stands for and the value i place on it. robert came into the room and silently took pablo off my lap, gathered him in his arms, and stood me up. in movies, this is the part where the couple starts dancing. she in his oversized work shirt, he in sweats. they spin around in the dusk light and suddenly it's all okay.
but he didn't spin me around. he just held me and i laid my cheek against his work shirt. and around nine in the evening, i knew. it really was going to be okay.
because it doesn't take much, and it certainly doesn't take much money, to make me happy. i thrill to warm baths in the morning, long walks in the afternoon, and lazy sunday evenings. i cherish belly rubs, sweet e-mails and toffee vanilla creamer. and my favorite meal cost $3.
the best meal ever: wendy's. spicy chicken nuggets. honey sauce. sour cream and chive baked potato with sea salt and black pepper. caesar salad with avocado ranch dressing.
so maybe another storm will come. maybe this time the crab-apple tree will break. but if i can keep having moments like last night, i know i won't. because things fall apart. nature defies itself and great limbs fall like weights to the ground. but the best things aren't things at all. they're free, and with them, we're all millionaires.