It was too hot in the house, too hot for spring. The room baked in late-afternoon sun. Simply breathing was calisthenics, with the air as stifling as wet wet wool. Then . . . the scent of all things April floated through the open window on a breeze kissed by the promise of rain.
There was a sound at the door, and when I opened it, a streak of tan and orange fur blew past me. He made a flying circuit through the house, circling the living room, weaving in and out of houseplants with the effortless fluidity that only a feline possesses, darting into the kitchen to sniff at leftover Mexican food and wet coffee grounds in the trash can, ignoring his food bowl, tearing up and down the hall once or twice, digging furiously in his sand box, flying back through the living room. A ribbon of purr-meows trailed him on his mad dash, maybe an invitation to play, maybe a rhetorical question about why humans would be so stupid as to stand still at such a glorious time for running. I assumed he sensed the rain coming, and wanted inside, but after a quick check of his territory, he was gone again.
Outside, the wood on the porch was still warm under my feet, but the breeze was stronger, damp and cooling, bringing things back to life, carrying on it a billowing cloud of jasmine, honeysuckle, cut grass, and wet earth . . . and a distant rumble of approaching thunder. The tiniest whirr of wings and a flash of brilliance is all that was left to me of a hummingbird on its way to shelter. Tree frogs singing too early in the day, excited and joyous at the prospect of rain. Above me, baby leaves rustled in their tree nursery, whispering to one another.
Fat drops of rain splashed onto the grass, first slowly, softly, . . and then faster, and faster, until they made a curtain–rain as the pannels, wind as the seams, or maybe it was the other way around. The dark blue of sky deepened to black, as inkblot clouds raced one another and burst with cold slightly stinging but welcome raindrops. Thunder crashed, and the wind danced, causing stately trees to bend and sway along. The wind blew the porch swing back and forth, adding a rhythmic THUMP THUMP THUMP to the den of noise, as the back of the swing hit the side of the house. A streak of lightning lit up the sky, and for an instant, I could see that The rain curtain was newly decorated with dots of bright green, swirling dancing baby leaves, diving toward earth, only to be llifted and carried far away on windy sails.
Finally, the wind died down, rain gentling, the world settling into fresh green softness. Tiny prisms of sparkling light slanted through the clouds, pushing their way through, opening more and more spaces for the light. Somewhere close, in a nest I couldn’t see, baby sparrows chirped frantically, surprised at the storm, but safe. A louder chorus of frogs and rain dripping gently off the leaves welcomed the new world. There was a far-off meow, coming closer. The orange and tan cat stepped daintily onto the porch, his fur dry and fluffy as ever, only a few raindrops clinging to his bushy
black-tipped tail. For now, nature’s symphony was through. . . .
(If you can’t see the world around you, you gain the freedom to imagine it, and expand what’s there. This is a picture I imagined when I was a little girl, thanks to the song, “April Showers”, from the Bambi movie. I first envisioned the rain shower in the forest, the way it was in the movie, but then I added my own embellishments, because I was four, and i loved cats.
Lately, I have called these imagined pictures, wordscapes, because they seem like mini vacations inside my head. I hope you enjoyed this one, and I may add more of these in the future.