It’s raining. I wrapped myself in a musty jacket and the dog is sitting next to me—not mine, my roommate’s—and we’re watching the rain from the porch. I’ve turned on music without words in the background. Dogs are barking and the cats are quiet for now, I’m not sure if they’re hiding from the rain.
In my backyard, with its chain link fence and grass and the low houses of my neighbors who I don’t really know, I could be anywhere, in any suburb.
Not everyone living in a mountain town has a mountain view, and plenty of us have ordinary backyards. I wanted to take a picture of my backyard, but I couldn’t make it beautiful, so I didn’t.
In the photo I tried to take, I missed the rain’s rhythm, fading and rising as the clouds moved imperceptibly over us, and the louder drops coming off the eaves of the porch.
And worse, in the photo my backyard looked drab. The colors grayed out and miserable. That’s not how I feel nor is it what I see: the delicate green that’s brighter under the tree in the corner, browner where the dog plays fetch back and forth. And there is a lot of gray today, with no sun to sharpen the lines and accent the colors, but its gradients are lovely on their own, the corners and sharp white of my neighbor’s house overlaid by the swayed gray brown trees between us that lay themselves across the sky, whose gray leans bluer to the north and redder to the south.
That all would have been in the photo, but you wouldn’t have seen it; it would have been faded out and sorry.
Maybe I’ll try again with the photo. The colors are here and they should appear in the image. But there are so many steps between my perception and yours. Me seeing, selecting the image, framing, holding hands steady, choosing to filter or not, then my camera to computer to blog post to your device and screen and eye and perception; so many layers.
Over there, south, the gray sky is bright and I am enjoying my morning, and need to learn I’m enjoying it because of its quiet and not despite it.
Did I mention the birds? (There are robins and pigeons and others.)
They wake me up.