Dear Laurie,

The fires burned for so long that we prayed for rain. Flooding drowned other countries and states, but here in the west we burned. So despite having lived through the most depressing winter of punishing gray, drizzling and pouring precipitation that stole all color from the world and sapped our will to live, we collectively turned our faces to the heavens to beg for its return.

Did the heavens smile on us? It’s hard to say. The rain is … different from before. At least it’s not gray.