My friend Andy dropped me an email yesterday morning to ask if I was celebrating.
Which is kind of funny, if you happen know that (1) he's pretty stingy with his emails, and (2) I was already thinking about him when his message landed in my inbox.
I'd been remembering a summer afternoon, seven or eight years ago, when he and I hurried away from our desks and out of doors to stand beneath an increasingly darkening sky. We stood on the front steps of the building in which we worked and watched half a dozen large black clouds blow quickly across the valley.
We stood right there as the first raindrops in months spattered all around us, practically sizzling as they landed on the burning concrete. We stood--without umbrella or hat--as the sprinkle turned into a shower and then a downpour. It was the end of a horrible drought; we were ready for rain.
My shoes were ruined.
It was the kind of day--if you're awake enough to take note--you remember. You file it away for the next time the bottoms of your feet are on fire, and the leaves are crumbling on the trees, and you'd damn near hurt somebody for a sip of something cold to drink.
It was the kind of day you remember when, after what feels like the world's longest dry spell, you gather outside the university library and look up at the screen on which your new president takes his oath of office, with nary a cloud in sight.
image, Stacy Braswell.