I live in a part of the USA overrun with a diversity in weather for lack of other diverse things that could mark this town and region.
Fall is colorful or grey; there is really no in between with bright skies and orange-red leaves one day that turn to a stark grey barrenness as soon as the wind shakes those leaves from the branches. Winter brings ice, snow, sleet, and a bitter cold that reaches its fingers all the way to my bones making it miserable to be outside, or like that one winter, it was in the 50’s for most of January; one just never knows. Spring is wet- colorful like fall with tulips, red clover, and other flowering plants- but it is a long time coming as often it can snow in April and rain through May; sun where are you?
But it is July now, so I want to focus on summer. Summer in my area is marked with rain and overcast skies most days. Sometimes the rain comes out of nowhere in a black-grey, thundering mass rolling through the sky, that pelts the earth with big, hard raindrops. The rain cools down the mugginess and humidity that makes the air heavy. Rain also takes care of the bugs, giving a brief respite to the buzzing around my ears; mosquitoes that just love my skin; bees that have a knack for picking me out to explore and chase around in circles, leaving my friends in peace; or, my favorite was yesterday, I was writing at a park and a daddy long-leg spider literally climbed 1/2 way up my calf before I felt him on me and I karate chopped him off my leg. Gross!
It is these humid, rainy, buggy days that put me in a state where the “grass is greener on the other side.” Moving to the northeast of the US from sunny, southern California, the grass is not literally greener as there is an intense water deficit in CA. But I yearn for the long, dry, sunshiney days that CA is known for. Picnics are never cancelled on account of the weather and the term “rain date” is a foreign concept. I long for heat where I don’t feel sticky, beaches, and palm trees reaching for the cloudless, blue sky above. And most of all, I miss orange and fuchsia sunsets showing off above the ocean.
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The rain where I live keeps me inside and I worry about summer getting away from me. When I do go outside, there are the perils of before mentioned bugs and insects and the black garden snake with white stripes lining his back that I saw in my mother’s garden.
Then, in a brilliant moment, the rain disappears and I see a rainbow shimmering in a hazy arch- such a mysterious array of color that MUST have a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of it. The clouds part and a mist rises from the trees into the sunlight, radiating an ethereal beauty. The downpour subsides leaving a dripping from the wet leaves in it’s wake, sounding like faint music. And when I inhale, the earth smells mossy, sweet, clean, and refreshed.
I realized after the last storm that the sun always shines again and when it does my favorite color green shimmers in various shades of hunter, jade, and sweet lime. Green is everywhere in this piece of the USA that I live during summer. And it’s beautiful, life-giving, fresh, and rich.
It takes the rain to bring out the full force of green in the gardens and woods around me.
Bringing this to a personal level, I can’t have that rich, beautiful, colorful life I imagine for myself with out the rain and storms of life to grow me. Like the earth and gorgeous summer green that marks the east coast, the hardships of growing up are necessary for me to reach my potential.
Whether it’s the job application and resume dance that seems to lead me further down an endless, dark tunnel and I just want to give up; the dysfunctional family drama that seems to pop up just as I am ready to forgive again and take down the walls I’ve built to protect myself; or the financial stress of not having a steady paycheck to pay for medical bills or the last visit to the mechanic for my car…
I have the hope from watching the world around me that these clouds of life will clear! The rain will stop. And in the storm’s place will be a rainbow, sunlight, mist, a unique beauty, a new song, and most of all a full, rich, thriving life in the shades of green that are unique to me. So let’s be real. I love the rain. The world needs it.