It is raining. After a year of wildfire and historic snowfall the rain has come like our corner of Oregon has not seen in over a hundred years. It comes in big, fat, sloppy wet drops, fast, drumming and thrumming and falling in sheets and waves. The rain puddles, pools and fills up city streets. It covers windows, washes cars, and soaks into fences. At night, it wakes the children, who stumble out groggy and rubbing their eyes to peer through the windows at it. In the morning, they press their feet into still-wet shoes and slop through the muddy lawn to the truck, the grass so wet it soaks their pants to the knees.
Still, it rains. The dog takes shelter in the garage, inching farther against the wall as the hours pass, keeping a watchful eye on a ribbon of water wending its way across the floor. The squirrels are soaked and listless, hiding under the juniper branches. Streams swell. Streets begin to flood. Basements fill with water. The dams are opened in the middle of the night. Everywhere, people wake up to hours-old evacuation warnings. The clouds blend in to the hills in the distance. The world is a blanket of grey. Hillsides blackened by summer fires slide, closing roads. Rivers spill over their banks. Fields become lakes and lambs stand leg-high in the mud.
Inside at the piano I keep time to its gentle waltz.