The Summer’s Darkling Rain

Throughout the summer, but particularly for the past five weeks, I have sat at my desk and watched the noontime summer brightness grow dim and become tinged with yellow-green, until finally the light has faded enough to tempt the streetlamps, and the tree in my backyard has drooped its arms from the weight of the air.

And then, a thunder to rattle the very roof, and sharp flashes of lightning, all about, and a hard rain begins to fall — a vertical rain, straight down from heaven to earth, with not the barest breeze to coax it east or west, no mediation between earth and sky — and the streets begin to flood, and the lights do flicker.

And then, as suddenly as it begins, the deluge ends — what was overfull to bursting has been drained.

And yet, the sky remains dim, not bright. And then the sirens begin to wail in the perpetual gloaming. “Something bad,” I think. “Say a prayer…”

It feels like something is coming; it tingles my inner antenna with expectation, for something. . .but what? Something new and ominous? Something old and familiar, that teases the romanticism within me which so often finds consolation in the dreary rain others call dull, but has always made me giddy with a sense of mysterious and knowing solitude?

It is only weather, and yet this year it has been noteworthy for the way it has left our days lingering between darkness and light, and made us look up in wonder. It means nothing, I am sure.

And yet, I am a-tingle with each arrival-and-not-quite-passing of these darkling rainstorms. I feel put on notice, as though I too am suspended somewhere between dark and light, day and night, with eyes full and wide. I know where I might in safe shelter abide, but I remain in watchful readiness, still, and hold within me something, something like joyful hope — tinged with just a little human fear — for the glorious brightness of a sun suddenly appeared.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bertha

    “darkling rainstorms”…what a beautiful, poetic phrase. Thank you for the mystery and introspection of this post.

  • David DeAtkine

    I think we can feel it here in Alabama too….there is change in the air, perhaps just the hint of autumn, but perhaps things greater. In a few weeks we find out if we live in a Republic still, or a godless dictatorship.

  • Jane Hartman

    Like a gothic novel in the moors, fall rainstorms are romantic and sometimes melancholy. I love them. In the gloaming, the song, talks about an unknown woe. Thank you, dear Lord, for autumn.

  • Manny

    Your tingle and the mystery of the moment can all be answered with two words: global warming. :-P (I’m kidding.)

  • Bren

    Love it! You should write a novel! :)

  • Mary

    Beautiful passage.