I was supposed to be making dinner for the kids, instead I stood outside where the wind blew and the thunder rumbled. The air was still warm, making the first few raindrops a pleasant distraction. Summer storms were one of the things I loved about Utah when I was a childhood visitor. My native California failed to supply me with thunderstorms, but we’d usually get at least one when we visited in Utah. I still love the summer storms even though I’ve lived in Utah long enough that they could have become boring. When the rain starts to blow and the sky rumbles I want to be outside, or at least near a window. I want to participate in the weather event.
I ran on the track team the spring when I was sixteen. It was my friends rather than the sport itself which kept me coming back. One particularly sweltering day, clouds rolled across the California sky and the rain began to fall. It was a warm, steady rain. Like the children we still were, even though we spent most of our teenaged hours pretending to be adult, my friends and I did not flee the rain. We reveled in it. My track shoes were soaked by the puddle splashes. My hair swung in long wet ropes as I twirled and stared at the gray sky. There was no wind, no rolling thunder, just a sense that the rain had washed away all the worry about the track meet on Friday and the biology test next Tuesday. In the puddles and the rain I could splash and not worry. My mother did not scold me when my clothes dripped all over the inside of the car on the trip home. I think she understood.
Later that same year I visited in Utah for a church youth conference. Most of the conference was spent in casual clothes, playing games, attending sessions, getting to know new friends. One night was set aside for a spiritual service. We all dressed in Sunday best and gathered together. At the end of the meeting we emerged to discover that a storm had just passed over. The pavements were covered with fresh puddles and the last drops fell from the sky. Thunder rolled away from us in the distance, receding toward the mountains. I breathed deep the warm damp air. The meeting had affected me, the feel of the post-rain air affected me even more. Everything seemed possible, I had my whole future before me. Instead of walking sedately to our next destination, I kicked off my shoes and dashed. I zigged my path to make sure my feet landed squarely in some of the shallow puddles. I zagged so that my free hand could slap the water in the fountain. I twirled so my skirt swished around my legs. Only when I reached the building on the far side of the courtyard did I return the shoes to my feet and enter.
Twenty years later I stayed standing on my porch and delaying the preparation for dinner until the rain came down in earnest. These bigger drops were cooler than the first ones. I opened my door to go inside. It was the responsible thing to do. Then I heard the laughter of my two youngest children. They did not see me there in the door frame. They were too busy. The splashes from their feet blended with the millions of tiny splashes from each raindrop. Their hair was plastered to their heads and smiles were plastered to their faces. I watched them there and remembered what it was like to dance in the rain. The wind carried the smell of wet pavement and earth to me. Minutes drifted past as I watched. Then I went and placed a pair of towels by the front door, ready for small people when they were tired of being wet. They came in ten minutes after and rolled themselves into the towels. A pair of be-toweled figures dashed for the warmth of bath and shower. By the time they were changed the spaghetti was almost done. So was the rain. The storm passed us by and all was well.
Mirrored from onecobble.com.