Today has been heavy with rain. It has formed perfect ponds in the garden. I am excited, foolishly expecting water lilies to grow. Or frogs to cavort.
The grass squeaks like freshly washed hair. It is light green.
The birds sit on the fence, heads pulled in, feathers ruffled like punks, holding their beaks on an angle to avoid choking on a raindrop.
I brave the roads to go to the fish markets. A truck has dropped a sack of potatoes. Cars squeal to avoid them. It is inevitable they will turn to soggy mash.
Near the markets fifty seagulls chatter on the grass at Blackwattle Bay waiting for fish that have been washed downstream. They smooth their breasts, avid as day traders gauging the performance of the Dow Jones.
One, two, three people lose their umbrellas to the wind. My umbrella obstinately flips inside out and refuses to flip back. The wind encircles us, slapping, pushing, pinning our hair to our faces. A little boy cries as his blanket blows out of his stroller. A valiant teenager saves it from the main road and returns it. The little boy clutches it like it is his most prized possession.
A woman is crying at the lights, waiting for the walk sign. Her bottom lip quivers. She turns her face to the rain to disguise her tears. I understand because sometimes I feel like crying in the rain. It is the only time it is really safe to cry with abandon.
I think of the purple umbrella I used to have with the beautiful white handle. I think of it every time it rains. I wish I hadn’t given it to Fiona Murray. At the time I thought she loved it more than I did and I felt sorry for her having to walk to school in the rain without an umbrella. That umbrella has been on my mind for years. Giving it up is one of my regrets.
After I have bought my fish the rain drops as if poured from an enormous jug. It bounces on the road like bullets. I swear and say I hate going to the fish markets. I say it every time it rains.
Heavy rain like this makes me think of second chances as the dust-filled days are washed away.
Tomorrow the sun might just shine again. And the day will be laundered and sparkling.