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Summer Rain
by Sid Harrison ETCM(SS) USN(Ret)

The smell of rain. 

Covering the earth with a promise of purity only to be swept to the sun.

Leaves dripping, bending listlessly before the onslaught.

Here is a house.

It is gray and has green shades. It is cool in the house and smells of linoleum, dust and furniture wax. The rain splatters through the screen door and wets the hall where he lies on his belly looking through the screen. He sees the gray-green earth misty and warm extending to a grayer horizon. Flies gather on the screen seeking the smells of the house. A sudden flash of light in the rainswept summer sky is followed by a rumble of thunder.

There is a barn . It smells of manure, hay and animals. It smells of aged gray wood, dust and leather trappings. Its roof is tin, rusted in places and patched. The floor is dirt, packed hard by countless hooves and covered with a mat of straw.

The profound tranquillity of such a setting is enhanced by a boy's peace of mind. No adult interruptions. Just a lazy curiosity of nothing in particular on a rainy day when the lightning flashes.

Now when he looks back on his youth there is a longing for those days in the sleepy Ohio countryside. For those  easy summertime days  when the grass was tall and he put off mowing it.

Streaks of rain on the window. It ran in rivulets down the weatherworn sash. He ran through pools of muddy rain water. It felt good to his bare tough summer-hard feet. The cool water contrasted with the warm tar road.

Now the sun is out and burns away the wet. Only the roadside puddles remain.

It rained.

It rained and time stopped. The earth was refreshed. It rained and his young mind was untroubled. Life was a joy. The joy was a quiet acceptance of life without knowing its riddles.