Playing in Puddles
Trees, distressed by rainfall shortage, are losing leaves, stripping themselves. Leaves fall crisp and dry; skip chattering down the asphalt driveway. The ornamental grasses at the edge of the garden are bronze, weary of searching for water.
All of nature aches for rain, wants to squeeze water from the grey sponge sky. The soil is parched after weeks of inadequate rainfall. A breeze shakes the leaves on the hedge; they make sounds like sheets of paper sliding to the floor. A crow complains atop the neighbour’s poplars.
I close my eyes. This heat-held air carries memories of Windsor, Ontario. The fat damp air here is nothing compared to the suffocating humidity of Windsor in summers of my childhood. I remember weeks upon weeks of stifling heat and humidity. We played in the cool cement basement and sucked on pieces of ice to survive the heat. And, waited for rain.
Rain. The rain would come, heavy fat drops, a downpour, a deluge, complete with thunder and lightning. After the storms, there were deep steaming puddles of water, warm as the bath on sidewalks and in yards. My mother would put us outside to play; we, three small girls aged 2 to 5, dressed only in our underwear. Our back yard would be full of screams and laughter of three little girls running, jumping and splashing in every puddle. We played until the sun would return to dry the delight-filled puddles, and to begin again the work of building humidity. We would return to days of playing in the cool basement. And, to waiting for the next rain storm.
This morning, I woke early. Even before I was out of bed, I felt it. Rain. I opened the curtains and smiled to myself as the first sun peeked through the clouds; clouds spilling welcome rain.
I saw puddles in the driveway and on the street and remembered dancing in the warm rainwater as a child.
Now, robins are here in the puddles, splashing and singing.
I remember how good it feels.
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