Early Morning in a Vancouver Suburb I know early morning after it’s been raining hard all night, and I’m standing outside, barefoot, the pebbled patio imprinting the bottoms of my feet. Now, in the washed out gray light, there is only a constant mist sprinkling in the air and it speckles my glasses and car windshields, dark clothes and chalky pavement, with drops like pinpricks. The scents of rain-drenched pine needles and wet mulchy forest paths tickle my nose, and in the distance, the tips of the evergreens are blurred like a watercolour painting, and smudged with fog.
I know the sharp intake of breath when I step outside and am greeted by all of this, hugging myself and feeling my nose go red, and I know the warm fuzzy feeling when I go back through the door and embrace the sleepy house like an old blanket. Sometimes, I sit by the window, watching the rain beat down harder, and my fingers wrap tightly around mug after mug of tea, wafting scents of cinnamon and apple, or peppermint, or fragrant vanilla. I feel the glow in my palms when I put each mug down, tea dust swirling in the last cold drops. Occasionally, I follow the pattern that it traces, trying to see if it will spell out a message: what my future holds, or maybe just the name of my neighbor’s cat. But I always end up wondering why there are two eyes staring at me in the bottom of my mug, and then I gasp in surprise, and laugh, looking around to make sure that nobody saw.
I know the lazy, calmness that settles over the whole house when the rain picks up, beating against the windows and lulling the people inside into a kind of waking sleep, where all we see are rumpled blankets calling us back to bed to keep them warm.