This morning it's raining, and the rain might be my favorite thing about The South. It doesn't hold back. You never get that misty sort of half-weather that you see in New York all the time, the stuff that teases the tips of your hair loose from your bobby pins, but only enough to make you look a bit sloppy. Not enough to dishevel you entirely.
Not here. Here, nothing is done halfway. I stepped out to walk Biscuit before the skies opened up and you could feel the weight of the air brush against you. I stepped out from the awning over our apartment stairs and the clouds had their cue. The rain drops are enormous. Just one is enough to make you feel soaked to the bone.
But there is never just one rain drop in Tennessee. The skies open up and let loose all their hard-made rain with abandon. They spill themselves until they are empty, and then roll away, leaving happy skies and lush grass and everything smelling like clean sunshine. You know that scent I'm talking about. It's not delicate, like spring rain, and it's certainly not steamy and stone-scented, like the way a summer rain smells as it evaporates off New York City sidewalks and buildings. There's barely any concrete here.
And certainly, none of the rain is allowed to evaporate. The grasses and trees and shrubs and flowers all drink it eagerly. Even my poppy plant, the one that I had written off as mostly-dead yesterday, has found a new lease on life. It peeks skyward, thirsty for whatever gifts the clouds wish to bestow upon it.
And the noise of it. There's nothing here to drown it out. Our balcony sits above a parking lot, and the steady drumming of the drops against the hoods and roofs of cars is the perfect staccato baseline against the chorus of birds that refuse to stop singing, even for inclement weather. Every now and then, it crescendos, the rain pouring out more fervently, the sound of leaves on trees and branches creaking joining into the melody.
The sky has been writing this song for days. It is impossible not be acutely aware of how lucky I am to be among the small, private audience to its debut. To Biscuit, it's a lullaby. I can understand that. Even as the morning barely stretches to 9 a.m. here, it's tempting to roll back into bed and let the song lull me to sleep.
Another cup of coffee and a hastily scribbled to-do list should remedy any thoughts I had of stealing a few more moments of rest right now. It would be too easy, you see, too appropriate, to let a quick cat nap turn into a deep, long slumber. And I can't sleep away a day like this, one so full of life and motion and fervor and music.
If the rain can show up and give today all it's got, so can I. Because in The South, we never do anything halfway.