Monday, February 4, 2008

It's Raining.

I came out of a friend's house last night, and it was raining. Wet street, wet truck, the whole thing. Real and actual rain. This is not the surprise that it was in, say, November, but around these parts, of late, there has been no such thing, really, as being surprised that it's raining. No surprise rain. No opening the front door and discovering that Oh, hey, it's raining.

I've got the windows open right now. 3:30 on a Monday. It's raining again.

I got so mired in the drought — so caught up in knowing that our best chance of rain would be in three days, maybe four; so caught up in 7-day and 10-day forecasts with not one bit of rain in them; so worried about whether or not, say, the trees would be getting enough water to produce anything like a spring bloom — that I completely and totally forgot what it felt like to discover, as opposed to expect or hope, that it is or would be raining.

That feeling's hard to pinpoint, but for me — and I know other people don't necessarily feel this way, which is OK, since I don't really have to have that many friends — opening a door or coming out of a class or waking up and discovering that it's raining is of a deeply personal, deeply spiritual satisfaction. I still want the sunny days, the warm days, the porch days, but a rain is right there with a fire in the fireplace, a mug of coffee, a glass of ice and maybe a little something else, the discovery of a quiet bakery or bar four or ten blocks away from my hotel in NYC. The dog asleep on the couch. I am quieted by these things, and by a good rain. Or even a kind of sad, slack, intermittent rain of the sort we're getting now.

It's a little like I live my life between rains, like I measure things out that way. Days, weeks, seasons. The last time it rained. The time before that. The time it rained so hard on a Scout campout that the older kids floated by me in their tent, headed downhill, singing Yellow Submarine. The time a friend in grad school called me up to come down to his place and watch it rain because the storm drain had backed up and the cars on the street were getting flooded. Other times in grad school when we'd bowl in the street with an actual bowling ball every time it would really open up and rain in any serious kind of way. The night I drove from Crescent Beach to Jacksonville to pick my girlfriend up from the airport, and lightning was striking and striking the highway median. The last time I fell asleep with the window cracked open, listening to the rain. The way the dog gets up on the bed and pants in a thunderstorm. Friday's torrential NYC downpour. Last night's surprise rain.

It rained. It's raining. We were way under last year, are already way under for this year. But I am starting to get to the point where I'm willing to hold out a little hope. Or at least willing to be surprised.

1 comment:

Kathryn Frances Walker said...

hey. rain. i thought about you sticking your head in the door and announcing it all day today. that was nice, rain announcer. this is from kathryn.