The overcast crept in unnoticed and unworthy of note. It meant nothing, less than nothing. Like the distant rumbles that accompanied it, it was only a tease. It’s happened so often this summer, and nothing ever comes of it. The fickle little showers always dance in someone else’s yard.

When the outflow winds hit, though, I had to go outside to roll up the sunshade on the deck. I barely paused as the sweet scent of rain swept past me.

Then a few drops hit my legs; spots appeared on the deck. Rain! Visible, audible rain! I sat down in a dusty chair to savor it, sheltered from all but windblown spray coming off the railing. It drummed on the roof and gushed from the downspouts. The temperature dropped. The spots on the deck and on neighboring roofs turned to unbroken wet sheens. Ah, rain.

For 10 or 15 minutes, I soaked up everything that is good and wonderful about rain. There was no thunder, no high wind. Just the gentle kiss of rain, the swishhh of passing cars, the muted clacking of the wooden windchime. When I was a kid, such a shower would have seen me dancing in the streets, splashing in the gutters, or catching raindrops on my upturned face. Now it was enough just to let the breeze muss my hair and the spray cool my skin.

It was over all too soon, tapering to a few sprinkles before stopping altogether. The patter on the roof faded away, and I couldn’t will it to return. I sat there a little longer, until the downspouts stopped their hollow pings and drips, and finally came back inside.

It wasn’t enough rain to break the drought. But it was delicious while it lasted.

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Photo: Laurie McClanahan

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