Now, sitting in my dusky kitchen, I stare out into my glowing gray backyard, droplets of water glistening on our bare maple. Every so often, a car whizzes by on the road behind the Leland Cypruses, with that familiar sound of tire on wet pavement.
So many times as a child, I woke up to that sound, the only notice that it had been raining. So many times, I walked down dark chilly stairs, onto our squeaky porch, and began unbundling newspapers for dark morning delivery. So many times, I remember putting an old paper atop the stack as I carted them up 75th street, raindrops creating mini supernovas atop yesterday's news.
Here, now, I can only dream about those days. The damp drips are familiar, as are the tires. But the maples and cypruses and sweetgums are not. The cardinals and bluebirds are not. If a mallard or a seagull waddled by, things would seem more appropriate. But there are no papers to deliver on my front porch. There are no mountains behind the clouds. Those things gradually fade into memory, only to be reawakened some other day, drip by shimmering drop.