When the clouds burst open and rain streaks the loft window, blurring my view of the hills and fields, this place feels even more isolated than it normally does. At the same time, it's a comfort to live in a warm, snug house, with all my books and music and simple pleasures, especially on a day so forbidding. I'm perfectly content here on such a day. And perfectly alone, because the more it rains the less anyone is likely to traverse my long, muddy driveway.
It's only when I have to wade through the puddles to get to the garage or pick up the mail that I have reservations about the country life. I'm not much for venturing out, if venturing out means getting cold and wet. On the other hand, sometimes I wish I had a good reason to go out. It would have to be a pretty good reason, though, to get me out of the house on a day like this.
I'd leave the house to accept an award, especially if cash were involved. I'd leave to help a friend in trouble, if I had any friends whose troubles I could be any help with. I'd go out to see James Taylor in concert, but probably not to see Carly Simon. I'd leave to hear Bill Clinton give a speech, but not Al Gore. If I knew someone playing in a basketball game down at the high school, I'd go watch, but I wouldn't go just to see the game.
So I'm going to stay home tonight, and watch The West Wing and read The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy and listen to Van Morrison singing "Precious time is slipping away..."