The year is 1997.
I am new to the Peninsula, so I can’t read the weather patterns. I came from a place where massive clouds rolling in from the West bring heavy rain and often times lightning and thunder.
I look up from my garden chores and see a billowy, gray mass of storm clouds gather and head down the Olympic Mountains in the west.
With only minutes before the rain hits, I scramble, tossing my garden tools into the cart and wheeling it under the roof of the woodshed. A large raindrop hits the honeysuckle that climbs the building. The force of the drop bends the leaf and shakes it.
“Hold off!” I raise my hand to the western sky, and then I laugh as if I could hold back massive clouds from delivering their package.
Miraculously, the clouds part and go around me. The sky opens blue, and the sun peeks out.
“Thank you!” I grab my tools and go back to work, hoeing and weeding—cultivating the rich deep soil full of earthworms, where my compost pile had laid to rot over the winter.
An hour goes by when I hear another fat raindrop plop onto the freshly dug soft soil. The smell of ozone permeates the air. I throw my tools back into the cart and quickly wheel them under the woodshed. I raise my hand once again to the western sky, thinking—well, it worked once before.
“Hold off!” I said, holding my hand up to the threatening clouds. Once again, the clouds began to lighten. They obey, part to either side, and the sun pops out. Today is magical!
I return to work, amused with how I can make clouds part and bring forth magical sparkling beings.
Then the inner voice began, “Okay, Debbie, you live in a rain shadow now. This isn’t a miracle; it’s just how the weather works here. The sparkling beings are only raindrops mixed with sunlight.”
As I toil, I convince myself that I create this weather to complete my work. But why do I always have to be logical? It’s much more fun to think about conjuring up the sunshine and sparkly beings.
I winked at the sparkles around me. “I see you,” I say. “You make my garden grow.”
As I work, I whisper to all the seen and unseen beings that move around the garden. I want to dance with them and twirl around lightly, like a tiny ballerina expertly balancing on a grass blade swaying with a whispering breeze.
Or, jump up on the head of a dandelion and waltz in the sunlight. The world around me sparkles in response as I breathe in the smell of freshly turned earth.
I continue my work in the garden and don’t notice when the sky turns dark. I look up and feel the drop hit my face. The clouds open up their cargo doors and dump their package within seconds. I give in and turn my face upwards and let the rain wash over me. One moment I am dry; the next, I am drenched.
“You caught me off guard this time!” I smile at the thought of clouds sneaking in, hoping they wouldn’t get caught.
“There won’t be the next time, so lighten up, will ya?” The rain lightens to a slow, steady rain.
“Can we do better than this?” The clouds comply and turn from rain to drizzle. Wow, weather that listens. Soaked to the skin, I feel cleansed in spirit. I love playing with the clouds.
“Now would be a good time for a rainbow.”