I love the sound of rain. I love the smell just before it rains, the tension in the air, humidity becoming prickly as the air moisture reaches for the raindrops. When the weather has been sunny and hot for several days even the plants know when the rain is coming. They strain toward the sky in anticipation of life-giving moisture. After the rain the air can seem sticky, as though the rain simply coated it with more moisture. Explosive storms blast the humidity and the air is fresh, clear, cooler. Trees appear washed, rinsed clean of dust. There aren’t clouds of gnats and mosquitoes as when the air becomes more humid. I don’t know where they go when the rain cleans and washes the earth. I don’t know where butterflies go either, but they gradually reappear, visiting their favorite nectar-rich flowers.