I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain.
Nothing new about that this summer.
I don't remember a season with so many quiet, gentle rains, though.
Most of the time we get storms blowing through with driving rain, rain that tap-dances all over the roof and into the ground: noisy, harsh, rhythmic. We had that kind of rain yesterday afternoon, and the creek came up in minutes.
But this spring and summer we've had a lot of quiet showers, gentle rain that simply taps against the roof shyly, as if not sure it's welcome.
I sleep with the bedroom window open, so when it began to rain I heard it first as a whispering in the leaves, then a little tapping in the mulch on the path. It woke me up just enough to listen for a few minutes, and I was struck by the layering of sound, the musicality of it. Locusts droned over the rain, thunder grumbled now and then, and an occasional car went by on the street, adding its sound to the whole. Every now and then the rain would come a little more intensely, then diminish again.
It was like a lullaby, just for me, and like anyone listening to a lovely lullaby, I went back to sleep.
Today would have been my mother-in-law's birthday.
When I first knew her, it seemed to be a non-event. She didn't make a fuss about it, and neither did anyone else. She got cards and good wishes, but as far as I know, not much else by way of celebration.
Maybe that's why I remember the year we surprised her with a birthday cake. She had a hard time believing it, and I think she was both pleased and a little embarrassed. After that, I think we celebrated her birthdays regularly, and her response each year was a little less embarrassment and a little more pleasure at being remembered.
All of which is to say, celebrations are fun, and worthwhile. Even if what we celebrate is not a particularly big deal, it's good to fold joy into each day, and a celebration of one kind or another is a fine way to do that.