Today, it rained. I don’t mean a soft sprinkle, I mean a deep thunderstorm that whirls the wrinkled autumn leaves off the trees and scatters them over the yard. A thunderstorm that creates a steady stream of downpour and distant rumbles. A weather rampage that spits lightning into the sky and cracks the sounds of still quietness.
My boyfriend and I have been missing our respective homes lately. The other day, we entered into a conversation about rain. It has been so hot here in the Mississippi summer, one that seems to rage on into October. We started dreaming about a windy downpour or a fierce thunderstorm over dinner one night, missing the angry weather shifts of our Northeastern homes. Our new location has slowly become very mundane, very predictable, very dry. We kept repeating that all we needed was a good rain.
As soon as I heard the wind pick up this afternoon, I raced to our balcony doors. I threw them open and watched as the rain turned from a few drops to buckets of downfall. The smell of crisp fall leaves and damp wood filled our apartment. I peered at the now glossy sidewalks and streets, glazed over with water. It finally rained.
Living in Florida for three years, I had missed the flutter of adventure and nostalgia when the first leaf whisked off a tree and floated to the backyard grass of our Connecticut home. I longed for the satisfying stillness watching the first few flakes of winter snow glide past a chilled window pane. But now, I have grown from missing places and seasons to missing people and feelings.
I find myself often wishing I could open my parents’ front door to their townhouse, groan while walking up an excessive amount of stairs to enter the main living area, and see my father watching nonsensical television, my sister petting the dog, and my mother multitasking in the kitchen. I’ve missed a sense of comfort and familiarity, that happiness with simply being so caught up in where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing, that nothing else holds any merit. I’ve been in this brake-slamming mindset of refusing to settle into one place that I’ve just arrived in because I’ll be forced to leave soon. I so very much long for simply being in a place that I recognize, or at least in a place that I feel comfortable and not distantly unique.
But, in the middle of sentimentality and homesickness, it rained today. The last few days here in Mississippi have dipped in temperature. I got a job last week at the local cafe as their newest waittress. My boyfriend and I are picking up our dream puppy in two weeks. We planned a trip to our alma mater to spend a weekend visiting with friends during Halloween. I spend my days now either decorating for the holidays, preparing for our new furry family member, or planning trips home to see friends at college or family during Christmas.
It finally rained.