There's something about rainy days, especially days like today when the darkly cloudy sky promises a steady day of it, that makes me feel thoughtful and quiet. I'm sure lots of people feel this way, and wonder sometimes if the rarity of rainy days in Phoenix has something to do with the complete lack of thoughtfulness displayed by our state legislature, but considering there's rain a-plenty in our nation's capital, that's probably not it.
I walked to the bus stop without headphones, listening to the rain on my umbrella and smelling the sweetness of the rain-drenched mesquite blossoms, bright yellow against the gray sky and asphalt. I'm always late for the 8:10 bus, and watch it pass by as I'm walking the last half-block to 48th st. I settle in to wait for the 8:25 under the cover of the bus stop and pull out my iPhone to read Perdido Street Station.
The rain gives the normally familiar streets such an unfamiliar cast to them, I feel a sense of being elsewhere than Arizona. This feeling is so strong that for a moment the muffled voice over the speakers of the overheated bus seems to be giving directions in a foreign language. I don't understand the words until the announcement repeats a few minutes later, a reminder to cover your mouth when you cough to avoid spreading the flu.
The bus is filled with college students - we empty the bus at my usual stop by the Music Building and, umbrellas opened, stream onto campus, separating to our different directions. I love seeing the coral of Gammage against the dark sky, the wet streaks down the Art Museum, and splash happily across campus to the library.