Three Paragraphs of Weather

Four days of rain in California is something of note.  The roof of our little home beats like a drum under a waterfall.  At night our dreams filter through purling treble notes that ring from the metal throats of gutters stretched under the eaves.  The soil drinks to reeling limit and vomits all excess onto walks and streets and courtyards.  In brief gaps between the showers, doves dive famished from the boughs to hunt for worms fighting up through liquid earth.

In Seattle, where I lived for twelve years, forty days of rain at a stretch was not unheard of.  I managed somehow to bear it, to claim to enjoy it.  When the dark and wet had found its way too far into my brain I would visit the heated cactus room at the Volunteer Park Conservatory, or sit for an hour under the lights in the butterfly garden at the Pacific Science Center.

Here summer consumes nine months of the year.  Sol reigns invictus from April to October but scatters himself a week at a time through the rest of the calendar too.  His banishment behind the clouds is always a piece of play-acting, all the better to astonish us into awed submission at his next revelation.  The weather prophets predict his return tomorrow.  Already the magnolia out my window is lit like a candelabrum with pink tongues of flame.


Filed under Three Paragraphs

4 responses to “Three Paragraphs of Weather

  1. Don’t forget your stint in Ketchikan, friend, where the rain was like oxygen.

  2. Ian Woolcott

    That was the summer that wasn’t. What did we get – one day without rain?

  3. You had a whole day without rain? Bloody luxury.

    We haven’t had a summer here since 2003. I remember it well because it was a Tuesday, which is recycling day.

  4. Ian Woolcott


    In Ketchikan (where they get 13-feet of rain per year) it was a real luxury, too. Working at a salmon cannery on a wilderness island can be rough, but that one day of sunshine was also our one day off for the summer, so it came out nicely.

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