The thin veil of clouds could not decide between light gray or pale blue, sheer curtains distorting bright colors. How does so much rain come from such a thin cover? Droplets making hollow pats as they hit the brim of my hat and tiny slaps on the ground.
If I focus hard enough, I'm certain I can hear it over the steady rythm of my boots, the petite dunk when a ball of water hits the surface of a deep puddle. Standing over a pond in a year long rainstorm wouldn't satisfy the fascination with the reverberation of the ripples or the tiny upward spout which shoots out of the ground just after another drop hits.
I have smelled nothing in the world like Washington rain, not the kind of smell you experience when heavy rain hits after a week of hot weather, but the kind that comes after hours of cold drizzle. Moss, leaves, wood and earth mixing with moisture and rising into your nostrils.
The sound a mossy road makes under your boots, or the productive crunch of packed gravel is more pleasing than the empty slap and dull thud of clean concrete or pavement. It feels like I'm walking better, faster and further with every step.
The poplar must be the tallest tree to grow within a six foot radius. They always seem to be moving, even when there is no wind to make them move, or the wind shapes them so that they at least look that way. I love their gnarled bases, something alien from a science fiction movie, roots and knots around plain bark. It is as though the tree cannot keep itself contained within the bark and has to break free, overflowing with life. Watching them lean and sway reminds me of road trips. Rows of fingers covered in green confetti marking out the edges of countless fields, they shift and wave in ways that make me feel like I'm standing still.
I wave as I pass by, his yard dotted with old machine parts, canons, road signs and even an outhouse for decoration. His beard was long and gray, concealing and showing his age at the same time. The felt hat on his head, like the one on mine, showing that he was old enough to understand that hats like this weren't made just for playing dress-up at the fair and rodeo. I raised a hand in a single wave, not sure if he noticed or not, I wonder if I should try again when his friendly voice says "How are you today?"
I reply "Very good, thank you." to which a simple "Good." is sent back, enough having been said.