Ever. It’s always been raining, and it will always rain. The ocean is broader and deeper than the depths of my imagination, and each day small bits of it rise up, roil through the air, and pound the edges of the continent. We are an extension of the ocean, we are the inner edges of the continental shelf. We are the pacific northwest. We are underwater.
Tonight, at sunset, the light broke through the mounded-up, blue-white clouds and lay, like orange paint, on all the west-facing surfaces. Fig trees, fence posts, wooden garage doors. A rainbow appeared, too, half-hearted, over everything. The streets sparkled in their joyous wetness, as if the world was a creek-rock that looked better wet. Then the sky clogged up and the half-hearted rain began again over the half-hearted rainbow. The light was gone- a greeting card from a better place. North Dakota, maybe, where one will predictably find a ball of retina-burning yellow unshakably aloft in the sky, but the wheat fields are too lonely, and there is too much wind.
Here, between the ocean and the mountains, there is no wind. Does the sun make the wind? Once, we drove east, to find the sun. After eighty miles the light was suddenly, blindingly bright, and looking behind us we saw the edge of the cloud, roiling in the atmosphere but not, somehow, able to make it any further. We pulled the truck off the highway, onto a narrow dirt road that wound around the hills, now bare of trees. We parked next to a gate, and began to climb. The earth was rocks, and blue grass, and small yellow sunflowers, the sky was blue and bare, and the wind beat at our faces like a rolled-up newspaper. We grinned, our hearts pounding, our lungs gasping at the clear, dry air, air from which there was no need to filter damp cobwebs of mildew and cloying, always-blooming roses. The dogs bounded ahead of us, ears flattened. As we walked upwards over the open, flowery hills the wind beat us harder, until at last we were on the top, and the earth was a sleeping woman below us. There, at the top, the wind was like a truck that bore down on us, out of the nothing, and the sun was thin and helpless. We looked at the spine of the earth, held our hands to our cold ears, and walked down again, gasping for breath.
The wind, the rain, the sun- too much, not enough. There is nothing wrong with the weather, it is our desires that cripple us. I want it to be sunny, I wish it would stop raining. Who is larger, us or the weather? Who is older? What comes from what? The ocean is larger than anything, and when my bones, from lack of vitamin D, turn to sand castles, I will be washed away with the rest of the shore, turned into something new. We have the weather inside of us- barometric pressure, the moon’s gravity, we have dreams about earthquakes, tsunamis. We are, in our hearts, like rabbits, running from the forest, anticipating fire. I will stop pretending, this June, that anything other than rain happens here, in the rain cloud, next to the ocean. I will accept the melancholy that comes with the cold, wet rain, the way it smothers my sense of urgency. I am the rainclouds, I come from the ocean. I am sleepy, there is no time. Sometimes I am the wind, expanding and contracting in space. But right now I am the rainclouds, and there is nothing that I want.