One afternoon we sat on Indian Beach within Ecola State Park on the western edge of Oregon and watched as wave after wave of rainclouds brought their tidings to the shore. Val, Oliver, Henry, and I hid underneath our hoods and hats as best we could when the rains came over the headlands and turned the sands to a riverbed. When they passed, as they always did, we ate sandwiches and crackers and tossed rocks into the stream that emptied onto the beach.
As afternoon turned to evening. there was a fleeting moment when the sun turned these great, billowing rainclouds to mountains of gold and red — a rush of blood to the surface in preparation for the long, blue flood of Eastern darkness that would ring still more water from the Pacific and play lullabies on the surface of our tent.