the rain.  it's everywhere.  on the freeway going south, it gathered in lake-sized hydroplane puddles in the low spots in the road,  and it sprayed my windshield in a thunder of solid mud as the semi trucks barreled past me.    in a thick cloudy mist it filled the air, and created delicate rockwall lace waterfalls where waterfalls aren't usually.  yesterday, it coated my wooden cityscape displays in the dark and made drippy soggy runny messes of my painted vellum cutout windows as i  stepped in puddles trying to avoid other puddles.  and today, walking the six blocks to stumptown get a cup of tea, it penetrated my wool jacket and my leather boots and my jeans and my socks and my wool hat.  and when i looked down to pour the soymilk into my tea, it flowed from my cap in a steady stream onto the counter.  defenseless against the wetness,  my wet wooly self smelling like a post-rainy-walk-dog, i succumbed and let it roll off me and down my neck and into my hair, marveling at the clogged gutters and broken downspouts and awnings all spraying like impromptu celebratory fountains to the concrete.  there, water meeting more concrete, searching for the storm drains leading to the underground maze of tunnels that will eventually drain to the river, the bulbous brown river of mud and motor oil and sewage and debris, the river that will drive itself swiftly out to sea, i wondered: how do the roots of the city's trees, hidden beneath the sidewalks and lanes, find the water?

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