Monday, May 12, 2008

Here comes the rain again

The rain clouds have blown in again. From the second floor windows I watched the western mountains fade behind falling gray sheets. I was startled back to home by swirls of new seeds rattling against the window, mimicking recent snow. Silhouetted by the storm, tree limbs, still bare, stood jagged like black lightning reaching upward. I waited, hoping for thunder.
My husband and I once drove across New Mexico, racing a distant storm. He, accustomed to the overhanging green tunnels of vegetation on the East Coast, found the desert empty and dull. I, in turn, reveled at the grandness of it all, breathing deeply as if my very being had been constricted by vines and leaves and was, for the first time in eight years, finally able to expand again. I find the obvious beauty of maples and oaks gaudy and ordinary; but the hues of sand and stone and prairie undulating over a hundred miles require attention to appreciate. That day, as the storm rippled across the horizon flashing clouds pink above bright threads of lightning and blowing golden oases of sunlight across the land below, Will finally saw through my eyes.

I always have loved a storm. When I was a girl I would wait anxiously for the late summer storms that rolled through, pushing the leaden summer heat before them. First the leaves of the cottonwoods would shiver over silver like can-can dancers throwing up their skirts, then tendrils of cool air would slip past, until the rain broke and I would make my way slowly to shelter, stomping momentary puddles whose mud oozed between my toes, to finally sit at the edge of the porch under the mist of deflected rain and count the number of times the thunder crossed the sky.

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