For the past three days, a storm has been brewing, gathering strength in gray clouds and humid air. Soon it will come crashing around us, but right now there is a calm. If I lay very still, the birds will perch near me, twittering and fluffing and pecking; if I make the slightest movement, though, off they go. I can taste the rain in the windless air. It won't be long before fat drops start falling through the newly-leafed trees; perhaps the tornado siren will sound, as it so often does during infamous Oklahoma spring storms. I crave the sunshine, but sometimes I prefer this pallid kind of light and the way you can hold the thick air in between your fingers.

    In jest, I have often said that I like the idea of living in the country, but if it came down to it, I probably wouldn't like it much. But no matter how much I joke about it, I am an outdoors girl through and through. Perhaps not in the hiking, climbing, bug-loving, kayaking-down-white-water-rapids sense--because okay, let's face it, I am a total city girl--but I am rooted in sunsets and sunrises, the first droplets of rain splattering the cement and humidity that clings as a second skin. In the city, I oft feel cooped up, held in by boxes of trees and telephone wire and gray roofs; still, I don't let that stop me. I am the dirt-on-the-soles-of-my-bare-feet, aimlessly-wandering-and-wondering, tilting-my-face-to-the-sky, paint-smeared-shorts-wearing, skin-that-smells-like-the-earth, more-graceful-sounding-than-she-really-is kind of outdoorsy city girl.

    Perhaps one day I will have a slice of earth, sky, and trees of my own, but for now, this will do perfectly well.