About Me

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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flash Fiction Exchange - November Rain

Here's Lisa's take on November Rain and I'm with this completely - I can hardly wait for the rain to return and chase away the cold.

She wakes to the sound of water tapping on the roof, dripping from the eaves. She flips back the covers, pads barefoot across the chilly floor and presses her hand to the wet window.

The guy at the general store says there hasn’t been a drop of rain since late May, and she believes him. She returns from her morning walks each day with her boots caked in layers of the forest’s dying floor. Like the redwoods surrounding the cabin, she feels parched. Like them, she’s been waiting for the first storm to wipe the dirt away.

She’s almost out of time; her stay here is nearly over. She came looking for sanctuary, for healing and inspiration. She came when the fa├žade of her perfect life crumbled and she realized that she hadn’t just lost her way, she’d lost herself.

This place holds happy memories for her. Childhood summers, family holidays. But memories aren’t what she needs, even the good ones. She’s spent the last two months choking on them, all those pieces of the past swirling in the forest dust.

Who am I?

Visiting the past didn’t answer the question. It just showed her over and over how she’d been taught to behave, to conform, to look discreetly past anything she wasn’t meant to see, and to never, ever upset the status quo. She sees so clearly now that her failures were only failures of imagination. That she’s the only one entitled to be disappointed by her choices. But she’s not. Because every one of them led her here, to this moment.

She doesn’t know how or why, but she’s sure it’s exactly where she needs to be.

The future is wide open, a chasm of possibilities vast enough to be frightening. She has to take it step by step, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. She has to feel her way to the next right thing – the next job, the next apartment, the next relationship – the way she felt her way back down the narrow path to the cabin on the day that dense fog rolled in. She remembers how it coated the world, drenching everything in the smell of mud. It was so thick she couldn’t see her boots beneath her, couldn’t see the hand she stretched out in front of her. She had to slow down, surrender to the sense of temporary blindness, and trust her feet.

She trusts them now, too. Lets them lead her out of the bedroom and down the dark hall. The glittering embers of last night’s fire beckon part of her to the hearth, but it’s the timid part, the part that clings to comfort even when she knows it’s false, so – for the first time in her life - she ignores it. Pushes open the door. Steps onto the rain-slicked porch and raises her face to the inky sky, drinking it all in. Letting it all go.

Surrendering to the sense of temporary blindness.

Trusting.

The sky hears her unspoken prayer and answers with a vibrant rumble. The gentle rain becomes a deluge, a down-pour, sluicing her in clarity. In hope. In daring.

The laugh surprises her, bubbling up out of nowhere. She takes the first four stairs at a run, then she leaps. Into the darkness, into the storm. Into the adventure.

Muddy water splashes her bare legs as she lands. Opening her arms wide enough to hold the sky, she begins to dance.

Lisa DiDio

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