It's a cloudy, gray, rainy day here today. We haven't seen one of these in a long time, and I'm savoring it.
I stepped out on the front porch this morning with my warm coffee mug in hand. As I walked down to the end of the cool concrete in my bare feet, I could hear the light breeze whisper through the trees and felt it ruffle my hair.
I stopped at the end of the porch and looked up. The clouds were bumpy on the bottom, little billows that reminded me of the ocean on a choppy day. Some clouds were pushing under others and some were folding up into themselves, and they were purposefully blowing across the sky as if they had a destination in mind.
Off to the southwest, the direction from which all good storms come, I could hear the thunder begin to rumble and felt it move under my feet and across the ground. It frightened a busy hummingbird off its perch at the feeder under the maple tree, and another swooped down to take its place for a drink. I could hear the indignant peeping of the displaced bird and marveled again that such tiny birds can make such sounds. More lightning flashed in the clouds, and both birds flew off over the gray roof of the house before the waves of thunder could reach them.
Looking back in the direction of the thunder, I felt the breeze grow momentarily stronger. A few pine needles flew off the trees that have grown so much in the last eight years, so that while they could have fit into a vaulted living room then, acting as Christmas decor, they now tower over everything and stand majestically, pointing their pinecones proudly outward, just waiting for the season to change so they can say, "I am strong. I am green. Welcome, cold weather and cardinals and snow. Come, rest in my branches."
A few sprinkles began to fall, and I felt them tickle my legs and hands. The power lines that extend from the street to the house caught the droplets and began to look as if they held a string of gray pearls as the rain dangled from the bottom. The power lines swayed gently in the wind, but none of the pearls fell. They only swayed, too, and slid slowly down toward their companions at the bottom of the long arc, where they would eventually join and fall to the wet grass below.
A car drove past the house, the headlights gleaming off the wet pavement. The tires shh-shhed as they bounced through a small puddle, and I continued to listen as the car drove on, the noise muted quickly by the dampness in the air.
I turned to walk back in the house, and a spiderweb caught my eye. Built over a small area of dark dirt in the front flowerbed, it was normally nearly invisible, but it too had caught the raindrops and been transformed into a shining spectacle. Its maker was nowhere to be seen, but the web shimmered and danced in the breeze, reminding me that all nature is precious.
The cats greeted me at the door, and as I walked back into my quiet, still house where lamplights glowed cozily, thunder rumbled one more time behind me, as if to say, "Thank you. For your appreciation, thank you."
And I smiled, thanking it back and being grateful for the wonderful earth upon which we live.