There is a sort of beauty found in terrible weather, which I'd forgotten. It's nice to remember.

Because I don't currently have a backyard, I walk my dog Goldie twice daily, and I try to get her to a dog park five or six days a week to stretch her legs off-leash and play with other dogs. One of the dog parks is in Los Gatos Creek Park, and during this last rainy spate it was frequently full of large flocks of grazing Canada geese, as well as the myriad other water birds taking advantage of a bit of free-standing water.

While I was a teen in Texas we rode the horses daily regardless of weather conditions. I remember in particular one fine winter blizzard where my sister was riding her white horse, while I was riding my black mare. As we trotted along, both of us bundled up within inches of our lives, I laughed and pointed out that it looked like I was riding a white horse with black splotches… while my sister's horse was simply vanishing into the briskly accumulating snow. Given our druthers, I suspect we'd both have preferred to stay nice and warm by the fire indoors… but because we had to go out, we received the lovely gift of experiencing first-hand the cold, spare beauty of a snow storm.

It's been a bit like that in the recent rainy weather. Fortunately Goldie seems to enjoy bouncing around in the rain — so I bundle up, take an umbrella, and head on out to the park with her. I remember one day in particular where it was raining so steadily that I was the only one in the dog park. The clouds were lowering and traveling fast in the gusting wind, while the rain slanted down in visible sheets. It was cold and wet and my visual horizon was significantly reduced — and yet… it was also stunningly, peculiarly beautiful. The rain poured down all in sparkling silver and dove gray, while the dusky, dappled clouds were a visual delight of an inexplicable number of shades of gray in a richness I'd never expected: grays in slate and oyster and hoarfrost; pearl and lead and stony gray. Even the puddles and the small reservoir glinted bright-plated argent in the refracted sunlight.

I walked back and forth in the rain and wind, throwing cold, sopping wet tennis balls for a joyously exuberant puppy dog… and I realized I was enjoying myself tremendously within this quiet pleasure.

I am so very, very fortunate.


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