May 12, 2010


I can think of nothing I like better than to take a bike ride in a light summer dress and to be caught in a warm Virginia rainstorm. I climb onto my worn out bicycle and pedal out under darkening skies. The air goes suddenly heavy and still and the hairs stick to the back of my neck and then, all at once, the rain begins to fall in curtains, as if someone somewhere has pulled a lever. I bicycle with arms spread open to catch what falls, warm and wet as the air in August. On the main road gruff men in pickup trucks smile and wave, arms outstretched, amused by the drenched come-here on a already rain-rusted bicycle. People wave from their porches and laugh and shout hello. And when thunder drumrolls in the unseen edges of the sky and the clouds fall so gray they almost look purple, I pedal home, exhilarated and foolish. Frogs chant in the ditches and I pull up my driveway just as the darkest clouds begin to alight like lanterns on the horizon, flashing. I sit in my great grandfathers's porch chair and watch the lightning strike white out beyond the trees and count, 1, 2, 3, waiting for the thunder to shake the house.

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