A Little Grace



I didn’t believe it when the weather app said “chance of rain” yesterday. I’ve been hurt by hope too many times. 2020 seems deliberately attempting to murder any ability I once had to feel hope, let alone allow it to soothe me.

I woke up between 3 and 4am, smelling something odd and smoky. Still don’t know what it was, but the dogs were mildly perturbed. It felt like something very large and very inimical was passing overhead, but I was too exhausted to care much so I patted the furry beasts and went back to sleep with them both pressing against me.

And I woke up to rain. Tapping the roof, slithering through leaves, sinking into the ground–not just a brief cloudburst but the best kind of summer rain, relatively warm and coming down enough to reach through the tree canopy to let thirsty earth drink deep. The break from terrible enervating heat (yes, I know it wouldn’t qualify as real heat nearer the equator, but it does here) is ever so welcome.

I was getting seriously close to packing it in. The heat, the fascist coup, the unrelenting bad news, the lack of consequences for any of the shitheels letting sickness rage through the vulnerable–all of it is still piling on, pressing down, punching repeatedly.

But there’s rain.

The cedars are bathing and drinking like ducks. The apple trees are dripping. The firs are stretching, turgor pressure returning, roots and mycelium delighting in freshness. The petrichor is overwhelming; my nose is full of green.

Even my soul–oh, that useless, painful baggage I can’t do without–is expanding again.

Of course the dogs will be underimpressed by having to wade through, especially Boxnoggin. “THIS IS NOT LIKE TEXAS,” he will complain, high-stepping to keep his precious paws from getting too damp. It’s a losing battle, but he still tries. Just like Miss B, attempting to herd the unherdable because it’s in her nature.

I’d say more–maybe a few pithy observations about how dogs must dog and writers must write–but it’s still raining, and I want to get out before it stops. I want to be kissed by the clouds, I want to run through puddles, I long to arrive home miserably wet and peel out of my sweat- and sky-dripping clothes.

It’s a small joy, but it’s mine. And just when I was beginning to sink under the burden, something beautiful saves me. Ridiculous how many times that happens, right as the hammer descends onto the final bell.

I hope something saves you today too, dearest Reader. Even if you don’t need it, even if you can’t see where it might come from, even if you’re not at the very end of your strength, we all deserve a little grace. It looks like we’re gonna need it, but that’s a problem for tomorrow.

For today, there’s the rain.