Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lear in Rain

All day the clouds stayed too high for rain.
All day we pretended summer, July, Northern Hemisphere.
64 degrees.

Sweater weather.

On the way to the park for King Lear at the amphitheater (picnic, blanket, wine) I mentioned oh-so-daringly that I thought the rain would hold off for the evening. And apparently my words worked a hex on the weather, for the moment we stepped foot from the car, the first benign summer drops descended.

At the foot of the hill, below the concrete benches, actors guided human-sized puppets in pre-show ventriloquism. One held a banana on a plate: unclaimed offering. Live music — though I couldn't quite see the handful of musicians behind a stage set. Umbrellas in plaids and polka-dots, in reds and stripes provided slim shelter to the assembled audience.

We layed out our blanket beneath a hemlock tree, poured thimble-sized glasses of Pinot Grigio, heaped throw-away plates with chicken and salad. I donned my fleece jacket. Settled.

And couldn't hear a thing.

Fifteen minutes later the rain eased, so we packed it all up and migrated closer to the action. Again unfolded the blanket, again set out the plates and our dinner. And the rain kicked up: again! Hoods pulled over heads, ready to endure the best that Seattle can offer on July 2nd. And besides, skin is waterproof.

At that moment an uncostumed man walked out from back of the stage, interrupted, asked for everyone's attention, and said with regret that he had to end tonight's performance because the floor of their makeshift stage (a giant blue plastic tarp) wasn't safe for his cast.

Well. Damn.

So again we packed it all up and set up camp #3, this time in view of the eagle's nest, under a sheltering pine, and finished our picnic.

Lying face-up I could watch raindrops fall at right angles to my eyes — and not too many raindrops, thanks to the criss-cross of branches above. Have I said that I find rain falling from the sky to be exquisitely beautiful?

So while much of the country swelters in 100-degree+ temperatures, we discovered unplanned pleasure in fleece and a picnic in the rain.

Welcome summer!


  1. aaah what a shame.... but a beautifully written looks more like October her in dull London!!

  2. And all the way over here in France, a few lumpy raindrops have just fallen. But in our case, they're very welcome.

    Shame about the show!

  3. Except tonight, the windows are open and the booms are really loud.

    I now have a new blog:

  4. you who live in Seattle are intrepid. You brave the rain and cold and attempt to live your lives anyway. Though I'd have that instead of heat and humidity any day, it still baffles me how you manage. My hat's off to you -- wait, I should put it back on, there's a few drops falling from the sky.