It thundered again this afternoon while Duncan and I slept on the couch, the blinds drawn, cocooning us in, the fan turning softly and humming a sweet low note that somehow made the trembling of the dark outside less menacing, something felt rather than heard, the day's pulse. When we pulled ourselves from our afternoon dreams, which are sweet and rich and difficult to shake away, the storm had moved on, leaving a great, vast blue swathe between it and the next line of low, mottled clouds. We ventured out, enjoying the wet our feet kicked up from the dampened grass, the pearly drip of the rain's remnants from the ash and maple and elms in our path, the slow-to-rouse song of the birds rising cautiously from their shadowy hiding spots. Duncan led me to the park, to a place where, if you stand in the right spot, you are are afforded a view of the green hillside rising above you and the setting sun and the mountains below it, without the clutter of the strip malls or the ill harmonies of the traffic congesting the roads beyond. It is a quiet place––a listening place––where you can look out over the freshly trimmed baseball fields and the eastern sky or you can hush yourself and watch the new bunnies explore the tall clover while their mothers stand guard and the crows in the bone branches of the aspens warn of our presence.
We spread ourselves out on the moist grass, cool on my back, and watched our blue swathe drift ever so slowly south, chasing a storm while another chased it. The air turned golden for a moment and was sweet in our mouths. Silence descended as the evening's storm moved in and the tiniest drops began to patter on my arms and legs. Duncan lapped at the air with his tongue and turned his face away from the storm, looking calmly toward the south and east, a glow in his eye, peace in his posture. We stayed there a long time, watching the world be the world all around us, listening to the rapture of this quiet summer eve.
Listen, if you would listen. There's no end to good talk, to passion songs,
to the melodies that say this branch, this tree is mine,
to the wholesome happiness of being alive on a patch