Last night before we had supper, it began to pour rain. The sky let loose with so much water that it almost appeared as if the air was turning white with it.
The rain pounded the tin roof over us and the eaves gushed forth the overflow. It was tremendous! We sat in our own silence and watched and listened. It was a moment to pay attention. Thunder rumbled and cracked and the world shook with the power of it all.
Sister Spider was soaked.
The whole experience took us over in a way and we were infused with the energy of it all, inflamed, too, with a sort of wildness in our guts. A primal feeling. I think it may have temporarily, at least, changed my very molecules with the power of the rainfall and the electric charge of the air.
This morning we slowly made our way to a departure for the beach. I robbed the stash of Publix fried chicken to take for our lunch, sliced melon and bagged cherries. We ran into another huge downpour on our way and I worried that we'd be rained out.
But by the time we got to the state park, the skies were blue above us, although a little threatening in the distance. And it was so hot. We ate our lunches in a little picnic place with a shelter and benches, everyone sharing their bounty. Rachel is the best when it comes to bringing treats for everyone. From humus to pimento cheese to yogurt and chocolate-covered raisins, it was all delicious.
And then we hauled our stuff down to the beach over the burning sand. The water was at low tide and I am not sure any of us could have walked far enough to reach water higher than our waists. Bald Point, the name of the place where we were, is at the place where two bays join and it really wasn't nearly as fine as the sand and water off St. George Island or Dog Island, either, at least on the Gulf side of both of them. But there were restrooms and it was closer and we had the place almost to ourselves. The water was warm as a bath, the sand in the water a sort of gray color. But we all just gathered in it and the kids kicked around and we floated and sat and knelt in the water and talked and laughed.
There was a little girl there, whose parents were sitting up on the beach, who was as friendly and fearless as a puppy. She was five years old, and the cutest thing you've ever seen. Deep brown eyes, dimples, a missing tooth, and her name was Charley. She fell into our group so gracefully that for a little while, she seemed to be one of us. She told us jokes, she immediately latched on to August and Maggie and they played together as easily as, well- puppies. At one point she came up to me, kneeling the water, stood right in front of me and said, "Hug," and so I hugged her. I mean- what else was there to do? I suppose I look quite safe to small children.
After we'd all soaked to deep levels of brininess, we got out and sat in our chairs and passed around more chips and Charley had to go home and the boys buried each other in the sand.
The little guys were so thrilled.
Mr. Moon and I packed up and came on home soon after. There was thunder off in the distance and I think everyone was about ready to get on the road. The water at the beach may not have been ideal but it was a beautiful place, nonetheless.
Florida truly is a wonderous place if you know where to look. Last night, as Glen and I sat on the porch in awe, watching the storm, we talked about how all of the people who have lived in this house probably did the same in the summers. Sat and watched from the porch as the Florida rains came down, right where we were sitting, no doubt looking at the same live oaks.
I feel a deep and humble connection with all of those people, grateful for the break from work, grateful for the water on gardens, grateful for the relief provided by the sudden break in heat the rain provides, grateful for the sturdy house which sheltered them, as it shelters us, from the storm.