I love summer storms. I never thought I'd say that. California doesn't have them. At least, they were rare. And if it rained in the summer, it got cold. So I wasn't used to them, it seemed our of the ordinary, different, and therefore, unlikable.
I showed up in Utah, exactly a week after high school graduation and on my 18th birthday. It was June and already hot and muggy. I'll never forget the last day my parents were in town. I was all settled in the dorms, everything was set. They were going to drive me to class, drop me off and leave for their drive home. It was pouring down rain and still so hot. I hated it. I hated every time it rained that summer. I probably hated every time it rained every summer I lived in Utah. I'd go to class in flip flops, shorts and a white t-shirt only to come out of the basement of the JKHB to find I was in the middle of a huge thunderstorm being pelted with giant drops of water hurtling from the sky.
I don't know when it changed. But I sort of love them now. I love that smell of wet asphalt. (I know, strange. I can remember my elementary school best friend, Vicki, she'd always say she loved the smell of wet asphalt and I'd think she was nuts. I didn't say this to her of course, she was the cool one that I clung too. But now I think I finally understand.)
It's only April in Kansas, so not unbearably hot, but still in the 70s or 80s today. It was all stormy as I came in tonight, but no rain yet, just ominous clouds. After I tucked the kids in I heard it start raining and I opened the door. It was so nice. I don't know if I can find the words to describe it. The air is so hot, but the cool raindrops are so refreshing. I wanted to just go sit out there and enjoy it. I didn't, but a part of me wanted to drag a chair out there and just sit and think. Of course, once I was out there I'd be upset about how wet I was, my water-proof mascara running, thoughts making me worry about lightning and tornadoes. But for a few seconds my heart just leapt. Maybe it reminded me of Utah, which was a great time in my life. A time I'm always a little bit homesick for.
Can you be homesick for a time? I always give my husband a hard time for looking to the future, and never the present or past. He's always looking to that next big thing that will make things better. And I give my best friend a hard time for looking back too much, wanting to go back to a time that isn't there anymore. But depending on the day and mood you catch me in, I'm looking back with longing in my heart for friends I don't hear from anymore. Or I'm looking forward to things are more settled, where I know what the path I'm on leads to. But mostly I guess I'm too busy with life to look around too much. I'm in the present. And that's not always the best either. I have to dream. I have to have memories. And summer storms bring all of that out in me.