Rainy Night

If I were on a mountainside somewhere, exposed, with barely any shelter, and with no where to go, I probably would think rain like's tonight's rain--steady, sometimes breezy, sometimes heavy--sucks. But I'm not; I'm warm and safe and dry in my Harrisonburg house, with bebop jazz in the other room, my Smartwool-socked feet up on my desk, and all the windows open to the sound and scent of tonight's spring rain. 

Eight minutes after 11pm and I'm beginning to think about how good bed will feel. I'll sleep with the windows open, lying under flannel and down. Speaking of down, the temperature tonight is predicted to drop to around 50. Is this maybe the best sleeping weather ever? No, that may be in the desert west--I learned this in Albuquerque and was reminded in Reno--when you go to bed feeling warm and wake in the early morning hours to a temperature thirty degrees cooler than the one you knew before sleep. There's maybe nothing like being in an early morning bed, warm and safe and maybe not alone, while the desert breeze filters in through the screens. 

But tonight should be good. 

The only thing I don't like is living so close to Interstate 81 and having the relentless highway sound of rushing tires taking somebodies somewhere as quickly as possible. I usually sleep with a fan running, white noise, but maybe tonight I'll skip that and listen to rain.

I wrote last time about walking under the moon with Luna. Well, I'm thinking of walking in the rain with a puppy next fall. A couple weeks ago, I called a breeder outside Harrisonburg and told him I would be ready at the end of the summer. It will have been a year since saying goodbye to Luna, and I think I'll be ready. So I'm thinking about nights like this--wet, wet, wet nights with soggy ground and streets filled with worms--and walking with a puppy, beginning that relationship, one that will--I hope--include thousands of night walks, and years that will take me from my forties to my sixties. I still feel so loyal to Luna that it's hard to even imagine another dog. But waiting a year feels increasingly right to me--time to mourn, to miss her, to honor our years together.

It's something to imagine the future that awaits. The pup is supposed to be ready at the end of August, which means even now she (or he) is somewhere growing. Even now--imagine this--the dog that may spend 15 years as my companion is somewhere on this earth. I know we can't know what the future holds, but on a rainy night like this one where I am grateful for warmth and shelter, I am thinking of rainy nights to come, hoping there will be a new friend here to pull me out into the darkness.