In late April, May, and early June, we have green rains. They come after a week or so of dry, clear, warm days, when all of the plants in the yard stretch towards the sun, bloom fully, and begin to set fruit. But, as they grow, they lose water, and contract slightly. Then, one afternoon, the wind picks up and clouds tumble over the Coast Range, back up against the Cascades, and cover the valley. Sheets of low grey cloud form; huge golden puffs pile up above them. The barometric pressure and the temperature drop overnight. This week, the rain was ushered in by a thunderstorm rolling over the house at midnight. We sank into a deep sleep as the rains began.
In the morning, we awoke to a green rain. Green rains are steady, all day, wet-footed rains, not mists and drizzles. They fill all of the dry plant cells so that everything, from apple tree to tomato plants, to the grass, swells with moisture. Branches dip down over the paths. Water soaks into the ground once more. A few bean seeds rise above the soil; I walk the beds to tuck them back
underneath. We can no longer see the low apartment house behind us because the hazelnut trees are so huge and full. The entire space, the entire county, begins to glow deep green against the grey skies.
There will be no yard work done today. It is too wet outside. We walk to the library, huddle under an umbrella, pick up a pile of books, and come home. We make a pot of tea, maybe some Alfred’s Long Johns, and settle in. I start a fire, and we sit near it with a window open to let in the fresh, wet, green air.