It all started in the back of a puke-green mid-seventies model Pontiac Catalina. I remember the lone swing set, its iron chain creaking back and forth under an ashen sky. We could see it out the rear-view window. The motel had bad pancakes for breakfast and I wanted to be outside playing. Instead, I was trapped next to my brothers and my sister in the car. We had a shared 64-pack of Crayolas, our favorite colors worn down to stubs. The coloring books were disappointing. The downpour was keeping me prisoner. I was not happy.
Many years later I moved to Seattle for that same weather, for the rain that blesses our flowers and grasses with a healing baptism. The rain keeps things green all year round and leaves dew that hangs like small crystal beads off the succulents in the morning. I love our showers, the symphony of each drop hitting disparate surfaces around the city, a metal overhang giving a different timbre than a plastic bucket. I like to watch the droplets dance in the puddles or ping off the taxicabs. Steadier rains roll languidly off designer umbrellas, their colorful awnings like native Seattle wildflowers that only spring up during a good drenching to disappear hours later. In short, I am in love with the ongoing sprinkle that is our city. I only wish that it rained more.
How did my viewpoint change so radically? The mind is a strange beast, but I have my theories. I’m no longer trapped in the car, so I can make the rain my playmate. I dance with the rain, smell it, hear it, taste it. And when we drove out of that drizzly parking lot all those years ago, the sun came out. We forgot the crayons in the back window, and they melted into one glorious rainbow block. I remember it like a primitive piece of stained glass on the warm vinyl. So now the rain makes me think of crayons. And who doesn’t love crayons?
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
5. Dance with the weather in your own environment and explore the strange beast that is your mind. What memories come up for you? What path does snow or sleet lead you down?