There was light outside, but those particles never seemed to make it into the room. Everything was dark–not even a color, just shadowy and dull. The couch squeaked and creased underneath me. The padding between my limbs and the bar in the arm rest is wearing thin, surely a sign of too much use. It was drizzling outside, but for a short time the rain out the window slowed… slowed… and stopped. The sky cleared a bit leaving a beautiful pre-thunderstorm mottled gray, and the cars going by made tschh tschhh sounds through the puddles.
I sprang up, ready at last. I changed into soft clothes and pulled on my sneakers–the new blue and yellow ones that make me feel like I am a gazelle, a panther, that I could leap forever, although I can tell you now this is far from true. I put in some head phones, tripped down the stairs, and opened the door into fresh spring air.
I ran and walked in intervals–each cycle of running pushing me to the edge of my ability, each cycle of walking just long enough to convince my lungs everything was fine before starting again. I moved past the road and down a bike path, tucked snugly against a line of trees. It felt good to power myself, to ponder my skeleton and its coverings as I pushed my legs across the arc of the earth. While I ran I noticed only the pain in my lungs, but while I walked I saw leaves beginning to unfurl, the dappled sky.
Shortly after I returned home, the sky kept its promise and a dark storm unfurled. The gray darkened to black and low thunder rumbled in the distance. A bowling lane. A truck going by. A boulder rolling. A waterfall. I nestled in and listened to it surround the house–deliciously plump drops of rain coating everything. As the thunder called out I thought of how much I love feeling safe in the middle of a storm and of all the other people through history who have felt the same way. Archaic humans hearing water drip from the branches of their brush huts. Ancient pueblo people looking out from stone caves, tucked away from lightning and flash floods. Colonial settlers hearing the rain tap the logs of their newly finished cabin. Maybe even my neighbor, who has a different wreath made out of candy for every holiday, sitting in her room listening just like me.
When I went to sleep that night the rain was still there. A spring rain. A rain full of promise. A rain tapping out a message on every roof and window: “We are the same, we are the same, we are the same.”