Classic November


I walked outside after a day meeting with students and felt the rain on my face. It wasn’t a hard rain, or a cold rain. It was not a driving rain, or the rain that comes from tall summer thunderheads. It was a gentle, sporadic rain. It was an unpredictable rain. Walking to the car and then driving and then walking again, the rain came down in bursts. Sometimes it fell with gusto, other times like a whisper.

Gray clouds filled the sky. Then, suddenly, they fell away and the sun seemed too bright. I squinted. Then smiled. It was a typical November day. I started the day with a coat and shed it later in the day once I started moving around. The clouds swirled around and came back. Then it rained again.

The day was warm. Our thermometer at home has been stuck at 21. Odd. The temperature was in the 50’s, even long after dark. My son and I bounced around on the trampoline in the mostly-dark, under clouds, until rain fell once more. It tickled us then started to tap us, then got downright pokey. So we left it outside.

Now, children in bed, the hour late, the rain falls heavily. It drums against the roof. I sleep best, perhaps, when it rains, when I am warm and dry while the world gets soaked. One June night I slept in a tent, alone in the Vermont mountains, on one of the darkest nights I have experienced, while the rain scattered across the nylon roof. I slept well that night. I expect that this November night, my window just over the porch roof where the rain sounds loudest, blankets pulled snugly around me, I will sleep well again.

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