I called the clouds, and for once they responded. I was sitting in a cane chair on the lawn at about 5:15 in the evening, resting my head on the back of the chair and looking straight up at the sky. A procession of clouds, white around their frayed edges and raindark in the middle, headed east across a sky of the palest blue. It was very beautiful, and I thought of Meghdoot, the Cloud-Messenger, carrying its message of rain.

Next came a thin, even sheet of yellow-grey, which spread to cover most of the sky, and sent down the lightest of sprinkles - not even a drizzle - that went on for an hour.

Later there was a more definite shower, with lightning and thunder. Water splatted loudly on the leaves in our leaky atrium.

This morning the sky is bright but grey-tinged, the air is heavy, and the stones of the garden walkways are patched with damp. Perhaps more rain-mail will come today.

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