Doug Bruns


In Life, Nature on June 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I sat outside under the canvas covering our balcony this evening as a storm rolled through. It came easily enough, the storm, though we had been told to expect it all day. And finally it came. It began with a rumbling and with the rumbling Lucy darted inside, but I stayed and read on; then the rain grew heavier and the canvas became saturated and began to leak and I took inside my phone and returned to my seat. And the rain grew heavier and as it beat on the canvas overhead I closed my eyes and occasionally the canvas leaked above me so I took my book and tucked it up under my fleece, as it was cool enough to wear a light fleece still, and as I sat with my eyes closed the rain beat on and when I opened my eyes I saw a single gull in the dark sky soaring, it’s wings not flapping, and I had to image what it must be like to be in the air, suspended, while pelted by the rain. The other gulls, of which there are normally many, were nowhere to be seen, but for this one, defying the rain and the storm and the stories’ high clouds and the rumble of thunder. And when I lifted my eyes, even though it was still raining heavily, there was a patch of blue sky to the west and through it the sun shown and a rainbow appeared, arcing from Peaks to South Portland, across the river Fore and Casco Bay, a full arc, firmly planted there and here.  I was being splattered by rain and the waterway in front of me was dimpled and corrugated and I cannot remember being so alive and so close to the elements; even when out on the trail and in my tent, or in a canoe, I cannot remember being so close to heaven and earth. The rain fell heavy and thick and each drop seemed intent on rushing faster than gravity could pull it, as if each drop had a mind of its own and was thinking, I’ll show you. There is a cruise ship in town and I thought of the passengers rushing to their comfort and their dinners and their cabins, thinking that perhaps the day had ended badly. But for the day had ended with an exclamation, a statement that nature cannot be ignored forgotten or even, for that matter, desired otherwise. It was not good nor was it bad. It simply was. Rain and the gull and the rainbow and feeling as if: This is the stuff of life, heavy and real and not to be ignored.

I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading.

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