Daily Archives: October 18, 2005

Falling Water

It’s raining.

I can smell the wet playground from here. The windows are open. It’s October. I can tell because of all the orange and black decorations on the bulletin boards. Mr. Christiansen is at the front of the class, teaching algebra underneath the crucifix. I can see an x and a y on the board, but I’m finding it hard to listen because of the rain.

It’s getting progressively louder on the awnings above the windows. Then the sound of rain gives way to something that sounds like tons of gravel being poured out of a truck. Mr. Christiansen opens the door to the playground and takes a look outside.

He laughs.

“Hail.” He says.

I stand up and look out the windows.

The playground, normally black asphalt, is white.

Pieces of ice, the size of chocolate malt balls, have covered the entire playground. I’m astounded. Frozen water, falling from the sky.

We all look at Mr. Christiansen for a moment. Nothing is said. Finally, he takes a step outside the door and tells us, “Ten minutes. And no running.”

I run outside and pick up a bunch of hail that’s frozen together. It looks like a clump of fish eggs. People start throwing chunks of ice at each other and it all starts to melt too quickly.

The ten minutes are over and Mr. Christiansen calls us back inside. He tells us about how hail is formed, how specks of dust collect supercooled water that are then buffeted by winds up and down in the atmosphere before they become heavy enough to fall to earth.

I’m not really listening.

It’s raining. Continue reading