When it rained I used to always reflexively wonder if I've left something outside.

I never do anymore.

And when a thunderstorm is coming I look out the window and I'm all alone...and I tell myself I'm going to go outside and swim in the downpour of water, look straight upwards into the gray, thundering clouds and let it rain on my face and in my eyes like a cold shower, like letting my own tears fall from the sky.

But I can't because I'm wired into the things inside this house, I'm connected to the soft buzz of electronics and the hum of the refrigerator and the soft wood of the desk and the click of the keyboard. That rain was so beautiful, and I stayed inside and watched it, because...

Out there I'd probably freeze to death.

When I was a child, I loved the sound of rain. I particularly loved the sound of rain pelting the wood roof of our summerkitchen. It was always the sound I loved at bed time, to go to sleep to.

And, when in the middle of the night, the flash of lightning, and the rumble, and crash of the thunder, it always seemed a part of whatever I was dreaming.

Even the biggest crashes, that would wake me from the soundest sleep, and scare the breath out of me for a few seconds, even that was OK.

Later, as a camper in Algonquin Park, I was older, and I knew what it could do. Once, in the middle of the night, it blew down our tent, left us--suddenly--completely soaked. And scared.

Now, every time a storm is forecast, I unplug my computer. It relaxes me a little. But I am no longer a child--I know too much.

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