“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


The fault of the rain

The rain was back this morning.

A storm blew through early and Maggie and I watched it through the windows, comfortable in our little house, safe from the wind and the tornado warning miles away. It is wrong, I think, to wish this rain would stop, wrong to be so judgmental, wrong to call it too much, wrong to think of it as anything as just being rain, but nonetheless I am ready for it to stop. Colder air followed the storm in, and it is also perhaps wrong to give thanks that this may put an end to the mosquitoes, but nonetheless I am ready for them to be gone.

Yesterday, during a brief respite from the rain, I stood below a swarm of green dragonflies - at least I think they were green. They weren't red & they may have been blue, but they were everywhere & as I stood staring at the sky, they flew around & above me, into the creek, back out, fast, fast, fast, just like the red ones, and in fact, right in the very same spot the red ones inhabit when they are here. Squatter dragonflies perhaps. I also surprised several cardinals hiding in the pear tree - they swooped out, 4 or 5 of them, startling me as I tramped about in the wet grass. I have also been inundated with ladybugs; this is a first for me in this house and is it the fault of the rain, I wonder. Are they, too, tired of all the wet and just looking for a comfy dry spot to lay their weary heads? I've seen them here & there through the years, but this year they are in the bathtub, on the blinds in the kitchen, and for three days in a row, there was a ladybug on the front door at exact eye-level each morning. It would be gone in the evening, but back the next morning.

In the evenings there are raccoons - last night just one outside the door, scrounging for pecan bits in the grass, drinking Maggie's outside supply of water. In the evenings there are also phones off the hook, and for a couple of nights, no computer. Just me, Maggie, a book. On & off, the sound of rain. She's back to spending time inside with me - I thank the rain for that, though it is only partially responsible. Since she was hurt, in a fight - whatever happened - she's been a bit shy about staying out in the evenings. She's no fool. She stands at the door for several minutes before making the decision to step through - sometimes it takes her several tries to convince herself that all is well, but she always eventually does and heads out, but she is back in a bit, wanting in, wanting her basket, wanting me, wanting home.

Today was the day for her weekly vet visit and as we drove back, she sitting on my left leg, paws against the windowpane, watching the rain & traffic, it felt like fall was really here. It's how we spent last fall, she & I, trips to the vet, watching the trees change on our route, and I felt again the peacefulness of she & I together in the jeep, rain outside, quiet inside, or Diana Krall on the stereo. Today was quiet. And once again I am thankful she is still with me, this cat who was not supposed to still be here, knock on wood.

I hear nothing outside now. The rain has stopped. Truly stopped. Tomorrow is the Rose Parade and the forecast is chilly but clear. My niece is in her school's band, so I will be there for the first time in 20 years. And for the first time in paid seats, my mother unable to stand by the side of the road. I have complained all day about tomorrow's sitting in the cold, but truly, I am thankful for the gift - my mother, my niece, my sister-in-law & her mother. 4 women I love.

I will throw my niece in there and call her a woman.
She will like that & it will make her laugh.
she is now well, the flu gone in a few days


  1. a year later...rain and cool and your beloved cat..for these I am glad.
    so blessed to have the 4 women to ...enjoy~

  2. What a beautiful, peace inspiring post! Thank you for this.

    Why does your cat have to go to the vet every week?

    As for railing against the weather, well, why not?? We humans have been doing just that all over the world throughout history. Weather, by its very nature, is always too much or too little. I think of it as the emotional body of the earth and complain as much as possible.

    I, too, am waiting for the end of mosquito season. Can't wait!

  3. You there, in the rain, I love your way around words. I shared your sweet comment with the Gypsy King, telling him what a fabulous writer you are. Taking a break from the non-stop sun I find myself in, I pause to read your tale. You never, ever disappoint.

    love and thanks to you,

  4. magical dragonflies
    women you love
    a good parade
    a purring, curious cat
    cold weather

    what could be sweeter?

  5. Raccoons scrounging for pecan bits in the grass hmmmm?
    Could they perhaps be cookie crumbs?

    I love this post. Dragon flies and lady bugs. Lady bugs have held a great significance for me for several years now. They seem to come to me as little messengers of hope, right when I need it, usually in the most unlikely places. It's sort of uncanny, but I know that you of all people won't look at me strange.


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .