I went for a walk in the canyon this morning after our first precipitation of the fall. It hasn’t rained since last spring and in my walks I’ve watched the progression of the canyon from lush, damp and green to dry, brittle and dirty. I’ve watched the little creeks and ponds dry up and disappear, leaving pathways and piles of round stones, their colors fading from mossy brown and green to faded rust and grey. A film of dust covers everything. In the late summer, nothing is beautiful in the canyon, even though it’s the time of year I love best. I still walk there, but with less eagerness and only in the early morning. When I inhale the scent of the summer canyon, I feel the sharp bite of the dry heat and not much else.
But today, when I woke to the sound of rain, my first thought was to get out and go. As soon as the sun peeked through the clouds and the kids were off, I headed to the canyon. Before I even reached the entry, I could smell the difference. The eucalyptus, the sage, the water, the smell of rain, damp earth and mud are a powerful elixir. I breathed it in with delight, as I walked down the squishy slope before me.
The difference was incredible. An hour or two of rain had transformed the canyon into something new. The aridity was gone.
The streams were back, at least temporarily. Paths I had walked yesterday were no longer available to me. I had to fix a little footbridge that had been washed out in the rain (It may only be a 10-foot-long 2×6 from someone’s yard, but still, I had to go dig it out of the weeds where it had floated). And even though it was no longer raining, every step I took brought water to me, from the treetops overhead, the bushes at my sides, and the puddles underfoot. Every step I took brought me another sign of love. Like the rest of the canyon, my #signs of love had dried up this summer, obscured by a coat of grime, but today they were washed clean. They were vibrant in their natural state. I took a few pictures to share with you. There are more on the #Signs page.
I know it’s a cliché to talk about how the seasons of our lives parallel the seasons of the year. I know it, and yet, I have to say it again, because I saw something new today. The season I like best, the summer, does nothing for the canyon (biologists – work with me here. I am sure it does something, but I am talking about aesthetics here). The season I like least with its rain, cool air, and short days makes the canyon beautiful. Hmm… There’s some logic to apply to my life. I need to welcome each season, and each rainy day, no matter how much I would like to avoid them. I need to remember that they will bring something beautiful to my life. Today helped me see that the season I love most fiercely, the season I wish would last forever, will do the most damage if I cling to it for too long.
With that in mind, I say bring on the rain; bring on the fall. I’ve got scarves and jackets and polka-dotted galoshes to keep me warm and dry. I’ve got memories of summer to last a lifetime. And if it turns around next week and we get 85 degree weather, like I’ve been told it might, I will enjoy it, but I will also let it go when the time comes.