Rain: Slice of Life #23

My family and I are tourists in another city. We spent the morning wandering. Down near the water. Through alleys and main streets. In and out of stores and shops. Drawn in by something in the window, the smell of fresh baked bread and one dappled Great Dane pup that charmed us all. We didn’t buy much. Coffee. Then lunch. That bread for our dinner. Books of course. Always books. One perfect chocolate each in the chocolate shop. Raspberry. Ginger. Butter Cream.

In the bookstore, I read Rain by Sam Usher. This is one gorgeous book. The pages seem slightly drowned. The images feel like they are full of puddles. Torrential rain that can’t be escaped has never looked quite so beautiful. The weather today called for rain and I was reminded that we had been spared. Our walk was pleasant. The weather mild. The sun made in and out appearances from behind the clouds. We had our second cup of coffee with sweets sitting outside on a back alley patio admiring planters and wondering where stairs led and what was behind each door. No rain today.

After lunch, we dropped bread and books back at the hotel and set out to walk for hours in the nearby park.

Within minutes it was drizzling. We come from rain. Drizzle is nothing. Most things we wear are meant to endure some water. This is the Pacific Northwest. Wet. Damp. Misty. Clean. We know rain. This was a meek attempt. We barely hesitated. Truth be told, we marched boldly over hills we didn’t know drawn by quacking ducks and a daffodil path all in bloom.

The drizzle picked up.

We raised hoods and quickened our step. There is always the shelter of trees.

A family was feeding the ducks. Which you aren’t supposed to do. But wow, those ducks. Mallard iridescent greens. Fifty ducks toddling across the grass is a sight to see.

A deluge replaced the drizzle. Huge drops. Soaked through in minutes, we ran to a structure where we could stand under a roof to escape. The wind picked up. There was no warm.

The next ten minutes was a back and forth between our fourteen-year-old son and us.

“We’ll just wait here until it lets up.”

“Oh my God. Let’s just go back now.”

“It won’t stay this steady.”

“Like we aren’t always in the rain.”

One duck waddled about in a nearby bush. Unbothered.

We got colder.

Eventually, the seeped in wet was too much and we stepped back into the downpour. Lessening now, because it does let up.

We know rain.

The cold and soaked feeling is familiar. As is the brighter green. The sweet smell of wet soil. The sound of rain splatter in the streets.

A warm room and dry clothes fix everything.

A view of a misty city.

Full of puddles.

The aftermath of rain that can’t be escaped.

Bad Irony: Slice of Life

I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.

12 thoughts on “Rain: Slice of Life #23

  1. Such a lovely, well-told slice. I love your use of stylistic fragments. Being in the Pacific Northwest myself, I loved your words, “We come from rain. Drizzle is nothing. Most things we wear are meant to endure some water.”

  2. You know rain, Carrie, and you made me feel like I was there in the rain with you. Your story flowed beautifully and the insertion of the book was a perfect embellishment. Have a dry day tomorrow. Our rain date last week was full of dampness, rain that turned to sleet, hail, and back to rain so we dashed home after church and turned up the heat.

  3. Ah yes. As another northwesterner, this is very evocative. I love the contrast between the completely unbothered ducks and the increasingly uncomfortable humans!

  4. “A warm room and dry clothes fix everything.” – I am glad you got that after the downpour. The mood and the details in the opening paragraph made me smile.

  5. I love rain. Anticipating it Friday as I ride the subway to Brooklyn.Cities in rain are special places. I love the photo op — raised umbrellas, rounded figures huddled beneath.

    Enjoyed this post. In the book your referenced their a line when the boy explains to his grandfather (and us) that in the rain you can look in puddles and see the world upside down. That alone makes rainy days special.

  6. I think you have found your words again. I enjoyed wandering and discovering the new place with you (bonus is no calories in my virtual chocolates). Loved every line!

  7. We just don’t have that kind of rain here except so occasionally that we wish for it. Love that you read the book, and yes, it does seem immersed. The artist did a wonderful job. And your enticing words brought us into the game of walking in drizzle – sounds like fun, but then. . . It’s another memory along with your nice walk in the town. Happy vacation!

  8. Wondering where in the great Pacific NW you’re vacationing. Loved your slice, especially this part: “We didn’t buy much. . . Books of course. Always books.” I’ve requested Rain from the library. And I have a title to share . . . for those of us who “know rain.” It’s 100 Words for Rain: A Whimsical Weather Guide, with many made up words for rainy conditions.

  9. I love when life is connected to a book (and oh my – what a gorgeous cover – it looks 3-D). Favorite line: “…we marched boldly over hills we didn’t know drawn by quacking ducks and a daffodil path all in bloom.” That created a wonderful image for me. I like the short one-sentence paragraphs. Reading it felt like pelting rain!

  10. Setting is so difficult to craft and you didi it so beautifully. From shopping, to the park, to the rain — I could picture it all. I almost said, “I have been there!” You described it so well. Truly gorgeous!

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