Friday, July 27, 2007

Monsoon Season

Thunder – a promise rolling and echoing over the sky! The monsoon season has begun.

Sometimes I can’t remember the last time it rained. Months pass without a drop. June comes with brilliant blue skies and a burning sun. The temperatures pass 100 and life retreats to early mornings and late evenings. The trees increasingly show signs of stress and a fear develops of a long dry painful summer.

And then it happens. In July the clouds are born. The morning may start clear and blue but before noon clouds appear. I’ve watched them in a playful mood of teasing. A small white cloud will form and drift toward the east. Slowly the cloud will evaporate and a few minutes later another floating apparition will appear and fade.

A few more days and clouds begin to amass and the teasing takes another form. Clouds to the south drop rain and we watch and wish. On another day it rains to the north but the rain evaporates before reaching the ground. A few more days and we feel a drop and another and yet another but it’s only a tantalizing shower that never takes the dust out of the air. At night, the horizon flickers and glows with lightning and we continue to wait.

Julie walking home.
Julie walking through thirsty brown grasses toward home which is to the right in the trees. (Larger version)

Finally, it really happens.

I drive over the last crest nearing home and the blacktop is wet. Turning off the blacktop I find the low spots in the dirt road filled with water. Some of the holes span the width of the road and are overflowing. I drive through a small lake. Knowing the location of the high spots, I weave through water a foot deep. I drive by large watery holes with signs beside them. Last year some happy person in a frivolous mood made wooden signs, painted them cheerful colors and named many of the giant puddles.

At home the birds are back at the feeders, the trees seem a deeper green and the walk is covered with cinders that have been washed from the high spot above the house. Checking a 500 gallon cistern fed by a 10 by 12 building I find over 100 gallons. Over an inch of rain must have fallen. The frogs will be singing tonight!

In a few days milo and perhaps sunflowers will sprout where birds have missed the seed and other grasses will appear and the world will start to turn an unnatural green that will last for a few weeks.

In 3 years I’ve never been home for a large rain. It’s rare that I’m home when it rains even a small shower. Someday it will happen and when it does, I’m going to put a towel just inside the door and I’m going to take off my hat and I’m going to stand in the rain until I’m soaked. Then I’ll sit on the deck and watch it and relive memories of my children playing in the rain.

It will happen some day but for now I’ll enjoy the thunder and wonder if it’s raining at home.


Blogger Buffalo said...

I remember the dark, rain-filled clouds whose moisture didn't reach the ground.

I remember a down-pour that stopped just short of the highway down which we were riding. And 5 minutes later we were in a dust storm.

7/27/2007 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Whitesnake said...

I loved reading this mate!

7/27/2007 09:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to you I love the rain. I hear the thunder and excitement fills me. I have a great memory of you and I sitting on the back step watching the heat lightening. That is a favorite of mine. I always think of it when it storms. Thanks for it!!!!

7/30/2007 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger THE Michael said...

That pic of Julie looks like a painting of some sort....even when we look at the larger version. Did you run it thru some kind of filter? I really like it.

We are getting PLENTY of rain this month!

7/30/2007 05:39:00 PM  

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