Rain as paint

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The Stone Table

They say that Oregonians don’t use umbrellas, which is true in my case. Most of the time I don’t even have a hood. My winter days are spent rushing down the shiny sidewalks, my head bowed at an unnatural angle. This posture does not lend itself to street art hunting (unless it’s by Volvox)  or people watching, which are two of my favorite things.

The last two days have been a different story though, because it hasn’t been raining or pouring. The sky has been bawling. It’s been sobbing like a feverish infant, weeping like Kristen Bell when she’s near a sloth. The Eugenean firmament has been blubbering like it’s auditioning for a part in the Notebook.

The Notebook, cameo by Eugene’s sky 

All of this melodrama still hasn’t forced me into a mackintosh, but I also haven’t been studying the cement. When the sky gets this ridiculous I can’t help but laugh. I take leisurely strolls through the downpour, my upturned face sporting a goofy grin. Visiting Californians may see tempests like this as a sign that God has truly forsaken our small patch of Earth, but I slow down and enjoy the waterworks.

Today I’d barely gotten home before dashing out again for a jog through Hendricks Park. If the sky was going to provide Hollywood effects, I would be imagining some accompanying story lines. First I found Narnia’s Stone Table. The little altar has always puzzled me, though I’m not sure I want to know its true history. I’d rather imagine Aslan rising from it as Lucy and Susan look on in amazement.

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Fairies in the woods

A heavy rain is a temporary paint job for the world. It deepens the hue of nearly every surface it touches, and casts glistening highlights on rocks and roads. It greys and fuzzes the sky, slightly depresses the treeline and changes the texture of the lawns. It’s as though the heavens are setting the scene for a Brothers Grimm tale. I’m sure I saw fairies flitting through the rhododendron bushes.

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Even as I dipped back into the outskirts of suburbia, the rain remained an enchanted elixir. A surreal cavern appeared among the houses. The water thundered on the structure’s roof as its long tethers whipped in the wind.

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I got as close to the monster’s great mouth as I dared, and then I ran away. Maybe I’ll come back to meet it in the sunlight.

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