When Oregon Rains

When Oregon rains the voices in the room soften. She comes in with the softness of a newborn’s blanket and eases her way in like the subtle rising of a crowd; one clap at a time, one drop at a time. When Oregon rains, I can actually feel her breath upon me, the coastal tides and the pine scented fog rolls in as she sings her tunes.

When Oregon rains, I can sit on the highway and not feel so mundane. My commuter rage fuses into a calm awakening, that some things in life are temporary, including the rain.

When Oregon rains, I can sit in my window sill like my childhood cat; press the side of my face against the cold glass and watch the parade of soaked shoes hurry onto the bus. When the bus continues down Hawthorne Street, the warning lights begin to melt like watercolors: reds and oranges dripping onto the asphalt.

Sometimes, when Oregon rains, I talk a long walk and let her fall apart on me. It always feels good to let someone cry on your shoulder; Lord knows how many times I have cried on hers.

Oregon has welcomed me into many homes and many rooms with many faces. But when Oregon rains, it all feels like one bed to crawl in: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors; cuddled under grandma’s quilt with our toes sticking out, just to feel what is like when Oregon rains.

Where I lived…

This was the writing prompt provided by Writing 101:
Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

My response:

On Saturday mornings I woke to the smell of coffee and pancakes before my eyes faced the light. On weekdays, my mom was singing musical tunes, her favorite being “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” and I was clenching the covers tight over my head cursing. Our floorboards creaked and you could hear the kettle brewing through my bedroom wall. It was charming, and I liked it; despite the million dollar homes we lived next to in the valley of the hills: Marin County. At twelve, I was in an awkward stage of growth: a tomboy discovering her female anatomy and affection for opposite sex. I rode my bike to school; my rainbow toe socks and Converse could be seen a mile away. Clearly, I never learned about fashion. After school, I rode to our local burger shop with three other girls who all lived on a street near mine. We would walk our bikes home, giggling about funny words and the boys that showed off in school that day. Our afternoon sessions were usually wrapped up with a closing ceremony of couch cushions and blaring Anna’s older sister’s music collection: 90′s rap. Then as the sun set, I would walk past oak trees and fresh cut lawns back to my musical mother to hear about everyone’s day over rice and veggies. At night I’d lay on by bedroom floor, with my headphones on, doing my homework with drawings in between. As soon as I felt my father’s footsteps I would get into bed: the street lamp as my night light. Sometimes I would listen for crickets. Other times I would listen to my parent’s conversations. And sometimes I would whisper my secrets aloud, nightly confessions always made for a better night’s sleep.