Ugly. I went to bed last night in an ugly ol' mood.
My fingers were pruney from wringing out sopping towels, hauling wet rugs, and hoisting soggy cardboard archive boxes from our flooded basement up to the front porch. The rain came down, the floods came up, and the Yellow House on the Hill got WET.
My possibly-ruptured Achilles tendon throbbed. As I mopped I ruminated over the podiatrist's cheerful diagnosis, and managed to work up a nice little storm cloud of anxiety about the inevitable negotiations with the insurance company.
My ever practical husband hauled load after load of dampness out of the basement and onto the front porch, draping wet rugs over my cute white rockers and the newly painted woodwork. Our neighbors have tolerated all manner of junk out there on the front porch (including a refrigerator - a serious renovation low point). Right now though, this version of ugly takes the cake.
So yeah. I went to bed mad. Mad that again we are the trashy house with rugs draped on our front porch, the house with crumbs on the floor and piles of paper all over the kitchen and a counter that no one will wipe up but me. An ugly house. Ugly.
At 5.45 this morning, the first headline to catch my eye on my iPhone was "praying for Japan." I checked the news, and as the story unfolded, my complaints of the night before began to feel very small indeed. My eldest watched the stories with me, and asked over and over if our house would float away like those houses on the screen. No, I said. No.
There might be water seeping up between the floor tiles. Our tax documents from 2003-2006 might be sopping wet. But today, we will not be watching a wall of water descend upon us and sweep the unwiped counters and rug-draped porch right back into the sea.
We are all limited by our perspective. The horrific stories continue to pour out of Japan, to run across the digital ticker tapes at the bottom of my screen, and suddenly my home, my life, and my small family are so very beautiful.
My prayers are with the people of the Pacific Rim today.
Oddly enough, I cooked up this post before I checked in on The Red Dress Club today. Guess what: their prompt is a piece that finds beauty in the ugly. Synchronicity strikes again.