When I heard the thunder, waking me from my foggy sleep, I remembered that I was in the south. Storms are not the same here. The thunder groans deeper than it ever would in Michigan. The rain falls harder here, too, like the heavy steps of a man, rushing through his morning routine. June heard the storm as well, from where she slept beside me. But instead of waking she rolled against my shoulder and cradled her blanket between her two chubby thumbs. Awake or asleep, the novelty of vacation and sharing a bed was felt by both of us in that moment.
Like our visits the years before, the weather is predicted to rain every day of our trip. I am told that this is unusual; Arkansas is not known for rain. But I will take the rain as an opportunity to stay indoors and catch up on conversation. There must be a fateful reason that our trips always coincide with these storms.
We have traveled together, June and I, to Arkansas, to spend some much needed time with dear friends. There is always almost one year that passes between our visits, but the bond of our friendship never seems to notice. How fortunate to have each of these women in my life. I cherish every moment we have together and I hope that as June grows, she will come to love them like a deep Southern storm.