Into the Storm

Here’s a piece I wrote last week on my way to work. Enjoy!

A storm is coming. I can see the clouds in the distance. Dark, ominous, full of rain to be let out on the earth at just the right moment. I can feel the weight of it. The humidity is almost unbearable to a temperate climate girl like me.

I climb in my car, start the engine and pull out of the apartment complex. I don’t need to be reminded that I’m going to work. I’m already too aware. I wish I didn’t have to go, that I could, instead, work in the day, like a normal human being and spend the evening cuddling with my love and getting other things done, instead of pouring water for customers eating a seven course meal when I haven’t had dinner.

I roll down the windows, letting my nose take in the smells. Over the fast food smell, the consumeristic, corn smell of McDonalds and Burgerville, I can smell it.

Rain.

The storm is brewing.

For the first time in months, I smell rain. That beautiful, wet, earth-made-new, smell. It unleashes a wealth of memories, of thoughts and feelings. I always feel happiest during two times: when I’m with the people I love the most and when it rains.

I love rain.

There’s the typical cliché things: it’s cleanses, it refreshes, without rain we wouldn’t have the beautiful greenery of the Pacific Northwest.

People write all sorts of allusions to the weather. Some talk about the first day of spring as a reminder of rebirth, as a token that says winter will soon be over. Some speak of hard times of life as compared to rainstorms or to the middle of winter.

I think of rain as something that rebirths.

Last October, I knew when it would rain. I sat on the porch of the house I shared with twelve other girls, and waited. I could feel it. I could smell it. My whole body was primed and ready, anxious to hear it, feel it, dance in it, chomping at the bit, oozing impatience for my long-anticipated rain.

And there it was. The smell gave way to the clouds unleashing the first few precious drops of rain. I ran out into the road, dancing down the street as the summer stores made rivers in the gutters and lakes in the rose beds.  I got muddy, soaking wet and goosebumpy all over. And I loved it.

I went back inside, made a cup of tea and sat and watched the rain. I could watch rain forever. One night at work a few months ago, I was so captivated by the rain that my coworkers had to constantly remind me that we were in fact working. They laughed behind their hands at my fascination, but if only they knew what rain means.

Rain means a chance to start over. Rain signifies autumn, the season of hunkering down and preparing for life’s future. The season of taking everything as beauty, even decay and death, and loving it all the same.

Rain. Tonight it might rain. I can see the clouds in the distance. Full, heavy, carrying the weight of rain kept in its cage for far too long. It wouldn’t be good for our customers tonight, but it would certainly be good for me.

Good for my soul. It would be good for my soul to see a storm. To see a reflection of the stirring within me on something so simple as the changing of the seasons. Maybe that would make the circumstances seem somewhere closer to the realm of reason. Maybe my frustrations with my job, my fears of my future, my despair at losing the love of my life, and my loss of purpose might somehow be seen in the storm.

Because normally, after a summer storm, one sees a rainbow. There is always good after a storm. Some beautiful combination of sunlight and water makes the perfect circle of light, a sight to see, a promise to be faithful, a bold declaration.

To see a promise during my job (that can often be the brain child of Satan’s lover) would be a true miracle indeed.

I step out of my car.

I step into the storm.

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