Last night I dreamed of rain.
It wasn’t a dream in which rain was one of the props, there only as context for some more complex plot. No, this dream was about a heavy rain, the drops beating down like giant, silvery ball bearings. In my dream, I saw it coming down outside my den window, soaking everything, sending up a thin mist of spray up from the cement sidewalk. It drummed and spatted. I could almost hear the dry earth saying ahhhhhh. I was delighted.
That’s it. That’s all of the dream I remember.
There was no rain this morning. But when the sun rose, it bathed and tinted everything pale salmon. My nearest neighbor has a light gray roof of composite tiles. Her roof was no longer gray, but orangey pink. The bare tree branches were pink. The world was washed in salmon light. But the sky above the taller trees was blue.
It was so unusual that I went outside so I could see the sunrise causing this odd phenomenon. I looked up, east, into the sky above the tall evergreens that surround us. There were a few flat, thin clouds up there, tinted with that strange pink, motionless in a robin’s-egg sky. But that was all. There was no breath-taking, fiery sunrise, at least, not from my vantage point.
A moment or two after I stepped out, the fledgling came out too. “Isn’t this the strangest light?” she asked. “It’s beautiful, but it’s … weird. I noticed through the living room window.”
Like anyone else, I’ve seen many, many sunrises, some of them truly spectacular. But I’ve never seen anything quite like this one before, even after living here for years. I was glad I wasn’t the only one standing out there, slack-jawed with wonder in that surreal salmon light.
The last time I was puzzled like this was on Sept. 11, when I turned my computer on to my MSN homepage, and saw a small photo of a fireball blooming, obscene and horrific, from high up the side of the first tower. I was disbelieving, even angry when I read the accompanying headline: “Airliner crashes into World Trade Center.” I thought, for the first minute or so, that it was someone’s really bad idea for a movie promotion.
Ever since then, I’ve turned my computer on in the early morning with a touch of trepidation; wary … wondering what new, everything-changing horror I’ll find to greet me.
This morning’s salmon-painted world only lasted about 10 minutes. My neighbor’s roof is now its old, familiar, hard-edged pearl gray, as usual. The bare trees are the same as always. Those minutes of wonderment are over. Since the worst news on my Yahoo homepage is yet more totalitarian Bush shenanigans (he’s busily planting political officers in each government agency), I’m relieved that those strange minutes were caused by something as simple, predictable, natural and harmless as a sunrise.
But I do wish it would rain.