Driving west toward the ocean, the wide sky out in front of me all afternoon, I watched a cloud get heavy. For two hours, it thickened over the sun until an edge of it broke—a veil of rain twisting down through the sky, like a drop of paint unfurling in a cup of water.

About an hour later, my windshield started catching raindrops.

I wrote these images in my notebook because I wanted them to mean something large, something about the creative process or the beautiful delay between effort and result. But all the lessons I tried to extract seemed trite, inexact.

This, then: I enjoyed watching the rain get ready.

The sky filled and emptied, just as it would have without me, and this time I was lucky enough to see it.