Friday, August 7, 2009

Weather is a place. It is a place within a place. When we experience it, it colors the location. It can define the location. We bring it to each new location; that is, we bring our experience with a particular weather with us from place to place and can be reminded of each place in which we've experienced it.

Upon awakening the past two mornings, I've heard rain hitting the hard, dry ground. Many would take this as an excuse to stay under the covers. I immediately get out of bed and go sit by an open window. As long as it doesn't bring bitter cold with it, I enjoy rain, even more so in a hot, dry, Western Montana August. Rain's patter invites me to pick up a book and read by the window, even before breakfast, the computer, or a shower. It's a gift for the day.

Nostalgia sets in as I remember rains that washed away the sticky heat of summers in Connecticut or New Jersey. You open the windows wide. The rain pours out of the sky, bouncing off plants in the backyard. I can't read with this rain. I must watch it, feel it. The green of that rain is brilliant. My gardens are drunk laden with every drop.

Riding the train to the small town of Nikko in Japan - with the Toshogu Shrine and Mausoleum dedicated to the Shogunate of Tokugawa Ieyasu - soft rain begins to fall in the cedar groves along the tracks. Stepping outside the train, I find the rain to really be the falling away of mist, lots of mist. I walk alone through this town, treating myself to green tea and snacks in a local shop, windows wide open, the musty smell of damp wood, speaking only Japanese. The day is colored by that mist, that moisture, the low grey sky. The day is heaven.

Hiking Deception Pass in Puget Sound, Washington, with Kelly and Neil, undeterred by the rain, prepared for it with parkas, the rain here, the cedar and cypress here, I'm back in Japan. I'm outside in it. The rain is the place; it's just that the scenery and location on the map have changed.

Here now, August in Montana, my window seat is the place that sits by the rain. The rain that sends up images from past rain and place experiences. The rain has stopped. Perhaps that's it for today, this week, the rest of this month. But I'll remember this rain, like all the others. I hold onto these weather as place conceptions and recollections.