I was totally lost in the repetition of matching the paint roller’s rhythmic thumps to James Brown’s grunts as I applied a second coat of Sapphire Berry paint to the nursery walls. As I moved under the eave, I noticed a new sound. At first, I assumed it must be a construction noise from across the street. But it’s Sunday, I remembered suddenly.
I looked out the window, over the shingles, and down to the street now glistening and scattered with puddles.
My first rain in my first house. Ever.
I jumped off the ladder, startling Mildred from her perch at what had been my knee level. She bounced off the freshly painted wall before regaining her balance and following me across the room to the larger window, her Sapphire Berry tail held high.
The wide leaves of a hosta bent under the weight of the water that ran from their edges and collected in the deep valley of their mid ribs before gracefully cascading to the ground. The urgency of the rain increased and Mildred again jumped at the sound of the drops pinging against the top of the air-conditioner. James Brown and his horns faded away to be replaced by Otis Redding. “These ah-rms…of my-ee-ine…they are lonely…”
Another drop of water landed on the air-conditioner, this time inside the window.
I walked back to the eave, climbed back the ladder, and positioned the roller to resume painting. But first I paused to place one small kiss on the ceiling beside my head.
It’s good to be home.