Celebrating the Rain

We’re celebrating a rare and wonderful rainy day here in parched Northern California—complete with deliciously heavy downpours, lentil-sized hail, lightning and big time thunder. I was blessed this afternoon to get home before the big show started, but here’s a journal piece I wrote after driving home in a powerful rain last fall—back when we all had high hopes that one rainy month was going to stretch into a rainy season and heal our drought woes. Thanks for reading:

Driving home from Placerville in the rain, mesmerized by the sound of the storm pounding like dried beans poured in a metal bowl, like pebbles striking. Suddenly I’m distracted by a high pitched rain drop, a maverick who wants to stand out, a small single dried pea that slips through the colander and pings on the floor. The noise is coming from the window by my left ear and I wonder if I will get to the valley and discover a leak and water puddled on the floor by my seat belt. No matter, I can’t turn now to check, can’t take my eyes off the wet road and the clutch of traffic. The car ahead of me is driving without his headlights on—a violation of a recent state law—and when I notice how grey and colorless his car is, I’m grateful for the high-pitched, pinging rain drop at my left ear. The steady pound of the storm on my windshield and roof is hypnotic; it’s the ping ping ping that’s keeping me awake. I think about getting home to my notebook so I can write all this down, and I berate myself that I haven’t written much lately. When I write every day the images and the words rise up out of the horizon like birds and airplanes and large animals, eager to appear in my poems and stories. It’s the habit that summons them. When I don’t write regularly I am stuck with the specter of dead friends and relatives, bullying bosses, and lovers who deserted me:  they come to tease at my frustration, my loneliness, my vulnerability. Specters who disappear like the rain.

 

Wherever you are today, I hope you’re enjoying your weather.

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4 responses to “Celebrating the Rain

  1. I enjoy your stories, Nancy. My advice to you is keep on writing! Ha! I love the rain too especially the thunderstorms we had today.

  2. thanks, Robyn! That’s advice I’ll happily follow!

  3. Nancy Ostiguy

    Can we send you some of our clouds and rain?!! The Northeast has been wetter and colder than average and we are tired of it. Today is another cloudy, rainy day. Will the sun every arrive?

  4. I wish you could send us some rain! My heart goes out to all of you back east suffering through such rough weather. Lately we have been blessed with the most beautiful weather in the world!–but the drought is like this ominous monster that’s breathing down our necks, making us feel scared and guilty as we sit in the mild sunshine, whispering that we better enjoy it while we can, cuz it won’t be pretty for long! Miss you, Nancy, and wish you could move on back here to California!

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