Rain began in the night, the first we’ve had in a long time – unusual in Vermont where rain is often ubiquitous. I lay awake in the night, listening to the storm wash over the roof, listening to the wind and water blow in from the east. We’ve lived in this house such a short time that rain on the roof is still new to us. In our former house, the roof was so poorly insulated, weather pounded hard on the metal, and the girls and I find ourselves listening in this house: what’s happening?
I got up and went downstairs and outside in my bare feet, leaning against the house in the dark, sheltered from the rain beneath the porch’s overhang. In our old house, I often went outside in the night, and learned how to walk in darkness so pitch I couldn’t see my moving feet or, some nights, even my own hand held before my face. I drove away fear of darkness many years ago, and came to know the sparse starlight as a companion, the darkness rich with nocturnal forest life all around us.
Here, there’s plenty of wild, too. We’re just above a steep ravine with a stream, choked with trees, singing with verdant avian life. In the night, I leaned against the house, wondering who else in town was awake in this little hour, listening to the rain.
Western wind, when wilt thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?