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More Rain [Feb. 3rd, 2004|05:54 am]
Night failed to fetch the moon after all. Instead, the rain resumed, and soft pattering and trickling has continued to animate the darkness. The cats have grown impatient, wishing to venture out, yet unwilling to get wet. Let outside, they remain on the porch, then complain loudly of the unfairness of it all when invited back in. Though I am not yet weary of this year's rain, I can sympathize with their dissatisfaction. I recall a winter when I was eleven or twelve when there was rain day after day for weeks on end. At school, we were forced to eat our lunches in the classroom, which then reeked of apple and overripe banana and peanut butter and milk for the remainder of the day.

Between classes, if we had to move from one building to another, we crowded the narrow covered walkways or dashed quickly across the open spaces, then entered another steamy classroom where coats dried on chair backs, emitting yet another odor into the close air. At the end of the day, we would dash to the waiting buses, ride behind fogged windows, then rush home from the bus stop, usually ending up soaked through. I grew so tired of being soggy that I thought I'd never want to see rain again.

Then I suddenly became accustomed to it. I even "missed" the bus a few times, just so I could walk home in the rain. Walking along the deserted sidewalks, I watched the spray fly from the tires of passing cars, the rivulets running in the gutters, the cascades falling from eaves, and found it all enjoyable. Though scolded for ruining my shoes and warned that I would inevitably catch pneumonia and die, I had been seduced by the rain and would indulge my newfound passion at every opportunity. It was as though I had undergone a pagan baptismal rite, and was lost to the prim world of dryness, another convert to the worship of saturated sensuality. I even felt disappointment when that gray winter drew to a close and the warmer days of a dry spring arrived.

Though I no longer have so intense a love of rain as I experienced in that first flush of devotion, and on most days would rather remain dry and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of a rainy day from the comfort of cover, I have never lost my capacity to find pleasure in liquid precipitation. Yet I do remember the early days of that wet year, when I found the relentless rain oppressive, before I became less like a cat and more like Gene Kelly splashing in those irresistible puddles.