The drops began right before dawn today. The birds hushed a moment and then, suddenly, rain popped against the leaves. At first far off and faint, the thunder woke in the mountains. I felt myself relax, as if a friend had arrived.
It rained a lot the first few years after I came to Colorado. Not gently, either. The storms would sweep in from the West — from over the mountains — and dump sheets of water blown by the wind. They came in the evenings and violently hastened the sunsets. At the Coffee Shop, we would crowd under the eaves with our arms and legs covered in goosebumps to watch the streets swirl with water.
The storms could be strangely bonding. I barely knew her, a young woman from the college, but she and I once stood side by side for nearly an hour in silence as a huge storm passed over — our arms touching of their own accord, as if we were old friends. Afterwards, she thanked me for watching the storm with her; and instead of thinking it strange, I felt the same gratitude. The experience of those storms was something you wanted to share.
It seldom rains that hard anymore. The rain today is coming down gentle, and the birds are back to singing, undisturbed by it. It won’t be long before the air starts to cool, and then it will begin to feel like the town is being renewed.
Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of rain: That sense of renewal it brings. At the moment, I can’t think of much else that does that besides rain — and sometimes the early dawn. But maybe I’m not thinking hard enough.
What brings you feelings of renewal?