On a rainy day in Central Texas

The proverbial rainy day arrived today in central Texas. I personally don’t remember the last time we had a rainy day. Once in awhile we get a gully washer, but today the rain fell slowly and frequently, soaking the ground that was parched and dry, cracked by a merciless sun. My grass, like my soul, had long since turned to a dry, burnt straw, the bushes looked sad and wilted. It is hard not to feel stressed when the temperature is over one hundred degrees. Even the trees were looking a little stressed, except for the olive trees which thrive in the dead hot weather of central Texas. I was startled by rain drops falling on the roof. It was a surprising sound because we just hadn’t heard it in so long. Puddles were everywhere, and a few sprinkler systems cincally continued to water as the rain fell. The gray skies and liquid precipitation put a damper on today’s activities, but that was okay. Slowing down is not a bad thing, but our 24/7 cultures makes it a bad thing. The temperatures were twenty degrees cooler today than they were yesterday, and the air conditioning did not have to strain today to keep the house cool. I opened the windows for awhile, and the temperatures will dip into the 60’s tonight. So today was a day to take stock, slow down, read a book, cook, do a little cleaning, find the top of my desk. The rain was not shy, but it was blind, falling equally of the just and the unjust alike. The ground, a dry sponge, was so dry that none of the rain was running off or pooling on the ground. This life-giving rain was like a soothing balm on a parched soul, an oasis in the middle of August. Central Texas was beginning to look a bit desert-like since all the road ditches were brown, burned and dusty. Water is essential for all plants and animals, and the summer sun had dried out the earth and left it scorched and empty. People were resorting to dumping enormous quantities of fresh water on their grass to keep it green because Mother Nature was not cooperating in the least. The rain today was very spring-like, resuscitating a dead earth and giving all its inhabitants a little taste of hope. Hope is a good thing, perhaps the best of things. We need sun, but too much of even a good thing is not good for anyone. The rain today revives the weary soul that has been hiding from the heat and sun for months. The temperatures go down, the rain falls, the earth drinks of a crystalline, cool bounty which means that we will be here for at least another day. I know that tomorrow the sun will come out, the temperatures will go up, and little will have changed, but today we all got a chance to breath, to rest, to dream, to imagine for a moment that there are other realities than the hot, dry weather of central Texas.