Not many people purposely walk in the rain, but there are some – like me. Just like the Eskimos have many words for snow, I have strings of words for rain:
Summer rain, First rain, Windy rain,
in desert rain
I have recently walked in misty rain, ethereal rain, rain drifting through the trees and softening the light. I feel safe then, in contrast to how I feel when I walk through a storm, when the blinding light and crack of thunder make me need to take cover, to be unobtrusive, small, humble – while still being energized, exhilarated, acutely (almost painfully) aware – though I am thinking, how will I dry my sopping shoes?
I raise my face so that I might catch the first sleet-turning-to-snow. The flakes feel warm on my lips. I think that the summer before, I danced in the desert rain ; I streamed water like the granite faces, and I shed drops like the desert pines. I bowed to the white peak, to the place of distant thunder. I danced to the light, was awed by the rainbow, was spellbound by the colors of green: iridescent, dark, quick silver, tender. I breathe green.
I have walked in snow-falling, becoming part of the stillness, part of the cold, part of the hiss and tick of the flakes as they strike the few leaves hanging doggedly to the tender twigs of the previous spring. I have walked in the blue snow, shimmery under a peek-a-boo moon in the clouds, color of daguerreotype.
Then, there is one mountain night when I went out into the bitter cold . . . staying out long enough to see the rising moon create cloud shadows. . . Though my winter clothes feel seer in the cold, I wander farther and farther from the lodging into a moonlit clearing, all cold light. I see an apparition: a skier materializing on the edge of the clearing, coming toward me, double poling, rhythmic and graceful. He belongs here under the moon, I think - as I wish I did, but I am too cold to surrender to moonlight and falling snow.