Monday, May 16, 2011


The front had come through just before dawn, arriving in a rush of wind and thunder. Peter had been drifting in and out of a light sleep; occasionally a flash of lightning would illuminate the bedroom and his eyes would flicker open, only to drift closed as a distant rumble of thunder sounded. But when the storm arrived in earnest there was no more sleeping - the winds battered branches against the walls and roof, and the thunder crashed loud enough to set off the car alarm and send the dog whining under the bed. He'd moved quickly into his clothes and had run out into the back yard in his bare feet to grab up the kids' toys and the lawn chairs before they blew away.

Now he stood under the shelter of the back patio. The front had moved past and had subdued into a steady soaking rain that pattered on the wide leaves of the garden plants and hissed on the gravel by the driveway. The muggy heat of the night before had given way to a cool crispness that hinted at the possibility of fall and Peter stood, feeling the cold water on his feet. He thought about going inside but wanted to enjoy the sound of the rain, welcome after so many weeks of baking drought.

The kitchen door opened behind him and his wife looked out. She stood, arms crossed for warmth, watching the rain from behind the screen door. They savored the cool for a long while, then she said, "Come on in honey, it's chilly out here!"

He stirred and turned to look at her.

"Coffee's on," she said, and he went back into the house.

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