Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Thunder Woke Me

I woke this morning at 4:30, miserably tangled in sweat-dampened sheets, dreaming of booming cannons and Tom Cruise -- charging across a bloody battlefield, sword upraised. The Cruise moment was probably inspired by Last of the Samurai, which I watched before bed. But the cannon was...thunder?

Yes. One of my favorite sounds. And rain. Is there anything more wonderful than lying in bed, listening to rain roar like a waterfall onto the tin roof, the slick concrete, the needy grass?

Rain brings unbidden memories: childhood summers with afternoon showers arriving regular as clockwork, scenting the dust with the promise of more, but leaving behind only a shimmer of electrical storm in the high country clouds.

A monsoon in Costa Rica that began with hot South Pacific winds; moving languidly through my window-less bungalow and over my bed like a tropical lover; the rain coming down so hard it became four walls around me, pouring off the porch roof and flooding the river, so that the next day we had to watch for drowned cows as we made our way upstream in our small blue boat.

The day I couldn't leave the library (what a tragedy) because the tall stone gutters were filled to overflowing with rushing murky water and I was afraid to try a leap over them; so I sat on the steps, waiting out the rain and immersing myself in a new adventure about a boy named Harry Potter.

High mountain showers, pattering on a tiny canvas shelter,  the air filled with aromatic cedar and wood smoke; eating cold chicken wrapped in brown squaw bread with my best friend, my safe haven, my future; the afternoon spent snuggled on a thick buffalo robe, feeling safe and loved.

My wet dog, tracking mud into the kitchen, wriggling in the towel as I try to dry him off. I'd clean up a thousand muddy floors to have him back, and I smile thru a few tears as I remember him standing in the rain outside the door with his silly doggy grin... waiting to get inside and play the dash-through-the-house-with-the-towel-in-his-teeth game.

And now, watching the rain stutter to an end outside my kitchen window, I think how amazing it is that the sound of rain can open those windows in my house of memory and take me back to the past and all its varied emotions.

Ah, here is my best friend, my safe haven, my future; bringing me coffee and settling in to watch the sunrise with me, on this perfect morning that I'll add to my memories... of rain.