On Sunday it rained in California.
Years ago -- I can't recall what day of the week it was -- it rained in Vermont. I was visiting my grandparents, up in the mountains. Their house had no electricity unless the noisy gas-powered generator was turned on; normally light in the evenings was provided by gas lanterns. Water came out of the taps just like at home, but it was sourced from a well, and was always icy cold and good-tasting.
Water also came out of the sky, In seeming bucketloads.
I don't have any pictures (other than those in my mind) of that day, when my uncle and I crafted elaborate rain-costumes out of giant black plastic lawn bags and duct tape. Mine had all sorts of weird flaps and several pockets. It worked to some degree, but really I didn't mind becoming saturated. I wandered about the sopping hilly property, awash in wind and water and motion. I caught several iridescent Japanese beetles in a cup, up by the tomato plants. Their poky feet stuck to my fingers like Velcro burrs.
Today, I was vividly reminded of that day probably twenty years ago. I did not make a rainsuit; I don't even own a raincoat proper these days. But I did go outside -- albeit tentatively, so as not to ruin my camera. It was the sort of rain which doesn't just come down straight, but lashes sideways, caught in lasso wind gusts. It smacked me in the face and beaded the surface of my coat. The ground near the sidewalk between the apartment doors and the laundry room was practically a small pond.
I crouched down over the widening puddle, still protected partially by the awning. Water was positively gushing out of the bent, flared end of the gutterpipe, briefly bubbling up a disturbance and then dampening out and merging with the random concentric rings surrounding the droplets endlessly plonking out of the sky.
I knew that a still photo could not capture the fullness of motion in the scene around me, but I made a few attempts to at least capture a slice or two of time.
I scanned the largest puddle further, noticing a drowned cinderblock that hadn't registered in my brain previously, along with a small carpet of green plants and some partially submerged, partly broken blades of grass. The water clung slopingly to the grass as it broke the surface tension in places.
After about fifteen minutes outdoors, I decided to retreat back inside. I was chilly and had exhausted all the places I could possibly stand, bend, or crouch without risking getting my camera wetter. I've since spent the rest of the day indoors, only listening to the rain, doing Sunday afternoon things involving tea and text, but being glad I took at least a few moments outside. Someday I'd like to try another, more expansive rainy-day expedition -- and possibly another plastic-bag-and-duct-tape rainsuit.