Moisture.

Rain begins falling yesterday evening and falls all night. Through the open windows, the wet scent of soil drifts into our house. The cats sit on the sills, a little confused apparently by the breeze and wet.

For whatever reason, I wake remembering a visit to the emergency room with one of my daughters a number of years ago. I had wait for my then-husband to pick me up, and my little girl and I sat in the empty waiting room. It was night by then. My daughter slept in my lap. The nurse on duty was a mother in a parenting group that we had both participated in a few years before. Her daughter was in school then, and she had long ago ceased having any weekday morning free. We spoke for a little while, and she gave me a bottle of cold water to drink. It was June and hot, and the water was delicious. Such a small thing, remembered so many years later. Doubtlessly, she’s forgotten it.

This rain has the same deliciousness — tinged with fall, yes, but watering my dry garden. Summer’s gone. We’re in the season of red maple leaves.

I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face…

By Don Paterson

Tuesday

When I step out to start my daughter’s car before she heads to work this morning, a very light snow is falling, flakes drifting in the light from the kitchen window.

Last year, I would have been headed to Burlington through the snow, driving through whatever the weather might have tossed at me. This year, I’m headed a far shorter distance up a back road.

In my twenties, I lived in Washington state for a few years, on the western side, in the Cascade mountains. The mountains were beautiful, the people kind, but I missed the heart of winter, the drama of Vermont’s swinging seasons. On mornings like this, I sometimes wonder what the heck I was thinking. In February, so many Vermonters draw in — even pre-pandemic — hibernating at our hearths against the winter.

For a moment longer I stand shivering. In the village below, only a few lights glow. A milk truck drives along Route 14.

Then I head back in to make more coffee. My daughter yawns and packs her bag for work. She asks me, Remember the smell of rain?

Yes, I say. I do.

Photo by Gabriela