Last night, I stood outside while talking on the phone.
A storm had rolled in - they'd been coming and going all day - and hunkered down in our hills. Brief strobes of lightning turned the piled-up-cotton-clouds peach, blue, and white, and thunder rolled around and around, my ears sipping and savoring the sound like auditory wine with a fine bouquet, something subtle, yet powerful, with hints of peace, summer, and potential in the afterglow.
The rain began to fall, a few plinks at first, building to a crescendo of rushing, downward falling waters. I stood in it, listening to the voice on the other side while the rain washed me, blessed me, touched my face with searching fingers and tapped my arms, head, bare feet in a kind of cool, wet, Morse.
I stood in it and listened to the voice, that good voice, that was under another, yet same, sky, his with moon peeking shyly down, and felt myself in two places, present in both, while the rain washed me.
It didn't last long, the downpour, just enough to give everything a good wetting and please the trees, the morning glory vines, the green and growing things. The clouds cracked open and hatched out the deep, dark, star feathered sky above my head, and I stared up and breathed in the damp air, the night around me, the light and the dark and the thunder still bumbling along its way.
Today, it's is well after the storms, and if you look outside, take a breath, feel the lightness of the air as it places a friendly hand on your arm, brushing you with a tiny breeze, you can tell it's after.
After the rain, it's all clean. No pollen, no dust, no copper tang, no weighty matters lingering, just clean. The sky is the blue you know so well, the blue of movies and television and paintings, deep, deeper, deepest, three-dimensional blue. Sharp blue, savory, I want to drink deep of this sky and quench my thirst with it.
In the woods, the leaves flutter, excited, new washed and delighted to find themselves brilliant, sun-dappled, cleansed. The rustle and whisper, shimmy and sigh, turn this way and that, admiring the occasional glint of sun from an unshed droplet.
The hawk is calling out, keeya, keeya, keeya, telling her own tales of the woods, the storm, the wet, the blue. Keeya, keeya, keeya, she calls, come and see what I have found, come and listen to what I am saying, come and feel the blood pounding in your ears and the wind in your face, and the wild stirring in your soul, keeya, keeya, keeya, come and fly, fly, fly with me.
After the storm, everything is more itself, as though the watering down actually made a distillate of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Worth enduring, these storms, for the After.