Wednesday, July 20, 2011

God Is In The Rain

In the year of an exceptional drought, life is different. Sure we go through our days, meeting deadlines, taking care of responsibilities and preparing for the next but in a drought, life is different.

During my summer break from work, which happened to coincide with this exceptional drought, I have seen a different summer. Beyond the obvious dry grass and dying landscape that is Central Texas, there is a constant thirst. I have grown used to dirt that has become powder and mornings that consist of watering everything from gardens to trees. In a drought there is a preoccupation with water. And there is that constant thirst.

As temperatures rise to the century mark and above each day, the air becomes less comfortable to breathe. People and pets move a little slower if at all. Summer becomes the enemy and the night our savior.

I have driven past corn fields where the crops have baked in the summer sun. Corn plants that should be tall and lush and green have dried and died in the hot Texas soil. I have seen fields plowed under early as hope of a yield was abandoned. A drought touches everything and everyone. It is a game changer.

Every morning I fill the bird bath which has become like the watering hole in an African desert. I have seen every living creature in and near my yard come for a drink. Lizards, wasps, squirrels, cats, birds, opossums and raccoons. Every living thing, plant and animal alike has an exceptional thirst this year.

But every now and then, as it did yesterday, the rain will fall. Sometimes its only for a moment, sometimes just a little longer. In the year of an exceptional drought, seeing rain is magical. It is a "get out and let it hit you" moment. It is a "be a child again" moment. It is a "see it for the first time" moment. It is summed up in a single word, glorious.

Some years are just like that. Some years are just a drought. Some years everything is just more difficult and there is that thirst for what used to be. What we need to remember is that all droughts eventually end. When the rains return and that life giving moisture is absorbed, life will find it's normal rhythm again.

While droughts are remembered with disdain and a physical shudder, their mere existence makes the promise of rain, the smell of rain, the taste of rain all the more sweet.

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