It’s that awkward time of the year when the line between winter and spring grows fuzzy. The temperature is in the mid-40s, too warm to be considered “winter weather” yet too cold to be “spring weather”. Also, it’s been raining. A lot. Take yesterday, for example. 

The day had been unusually warm for the middle of March. The sky was a spotless landscape of bright blue; the air was humid and almost heavy. Those who came to school in sweatshirts and sweatpants were drenched by lunchtime, and air conditioners in the classrooms blew welcome breezes onto their faces. People took it as a good sign. Spring was finally coming!

By the time afternoon rolled around, however, the sky was no longer clear. Clouds had rolled in from the southwest; now they covered the sky in a thick blanket of grey. Phones buzzed with the sound of notifications as weather predictions updated. By four in the afternoon, the first drops began to fall. 

My older sister had once told me that raindrops were angel tears. According to her, angels spent all eternity bowling in the sky. Yes, bowling. Why were they crying, you ask? If they didn’t get a strike, then it would rain. Poor angels. I, with all my logic and intellect at age five, believed her without question. 

I suppose that day was a particularly terrible loss for those angels, because the skies absolutely opened up. Great sheets of water seemed to fall through the air. . 

Rain wasn’t the only thing, though. Streaks of lightning exploded periodically across the sky, followed closely by the low rumble of thunder. The lightning scared me more than the thunder. I had learned about it in science class- little more than a bolt of pure electricity, lightning is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. Anything it touches on the ground is dead meat. 

The thunderstorm went through the evening into the night. Terrified children huddled under their bedcovers with each flash of lightning as their parents tried to calm them. Needless to say, it was a powerful storm. So it was almost surprising how quickly it seemed to end. 

Those who woke in the middle of the night, particularly around four in the morning, were struck by how quiet it seemed to be. Rain no longer pounded on the windows, nor did thunder boom from miles away. It was oddly calm. However, there was little time to ponder it as sleep came to reclaim them. 

When parents woke up for work hours later, they pulled on raincoats in case the rain persisted. But when they stepped outside, there were few clues that there had ever been a storm. The ground was damp, yes, and there was the occasional lawn chair blown sideways on the neighbor’s yard. But the sun was out, the birds chirped happily, and it seemed that spring had finally made its entrance. 

The air smelled of rain.