4:55 AM

The irregular pattering on the leaves of the olive tree woke me. The breeze blew puffs of rain-sweetened air through the opening in the slider, filling the dark room.

I was lying on my side so I didn’t see any flash of lightning, but the thunder rolled across the sky from north to south and seemed like it might go on forever.

Finally, though, it faded. The rain picked up, and over its murmur, one of the owls who nests in the neighbor’s redwood tree hooted three times, soft and low.

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