It's raining, darkening the grey rocks in the backyard to a deep, shiny, slate color; the grass and plants from their normal, dry yellow green to bright, jungle green. The colors pop against the backdrop of a white sky, covered in clouds. It's so rare here to get rain that when it happens the day feels special.
Except if you want to go to Tahoe, or if you are at Tahoe, dressed for the beach.
We left after church because it was supposed to be "like 103 degrees" but as we wound up the mountain, we kept driving deeper and deeper into the dark grey clouds. Thunder rumbled. We kept driving, watching the temperature on the dashboard drop a degree with each winding turn. One of those times where you just keep thinking, "He parted the Red Sea for gosh sakes! He can take the clouds away."
Except He didn't. Instead He brought lightening, so we were banned from the water, which caused two simultaneous wails of despair to erupt from the depths of my boys' bellies. I also wailed in despair, only mine was silent because as an adult letting that stuff out, especially in front of the kids, looks bad.
We decided to stay anyway and bbq'd with my parents and grammie. It rained a little, and then would stop, and then start again. One large gush of wind on the beach caused Joey to cover Noah with his body to protect him from the sharp sand pelting his face, while Ethan ran like a mad man to find cover, in the bathrooms.
Joey and I got to play catch, something we haven't done since I think Ethan was six months old and would sleep in the stroller while we played. It's amazing how long it takes to get some of those things back. The boys ran around chasing squirrels.
On the way home Joey and I got lost in conversation about the future, something that I love to do with him but find it hard in the lives we live: we either are getting things done and prepared for whatever is coming next or staring at our phones to zone out from it all. I find long, winding roads are good for this sort of thing: letting our minds get lost together, the flow of the conversation ebbing back in forth in a natural, effortless way.
We talked about how badly we we want to get out of Stead. How painful the fallout of the decision to buy out here has been-from what we can see now. Eleven years was impossible to imagine when we signed our life away. We thought maybe two, tops. And yet here we are, still, and I just turned thirty!
It's OK. It's one of the many ways I've learned to be an adult. To stay when I want to run away. To keep going when I want to quit. To know it's OK if it doesn't make sense; someday-maybe in this life, maybe not- I'll see it all clearly.
In the meantime I try to remember right now it's not so much about understanding why He doesn't take the clouds away and more about trusting His love for me, always. Sun or rain, ...he makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
Sure, we didn't get sunshine and beach and water, but we got the smell of new rain hitting pine trees in the mountains, the feeling of light rain misting our bodies, the back and forth smack of a baseball in my glove, and a long, effortless conversation with my husband that left me feeling closer to him than I've felt in a long while.
I take a deep breath and remember.