Despite my arithmetic challenges, I’m a number freak, so today matters for being 12.13.14. Since this numerical sequence won’t happen again for a hundred years, I want to give a shout out for the day. And the big sky that arrived after an evening of rain. The air feels full of the fresh chill of the coming Winter. At least, I think it’s coming. Eventually. Unless we just skip along to Spring.
Just returned from the southern hemisphere where winter is waning into spring: high seas, cold winds and blossoms just starting to open on the fruit trees. I came home to a late summer storm: streets flooded, thunder scaring the dog and my daughter’s school closed for the day due to the weather. A Rain Day. That’s a first and she’s in her last year in high school. The rain gods are stirred up all over the world. Hurricane Norbert even dropped some much needed moisture on parched California.
So, in the hour it took to drop my son at school and get home (usually 20 minutes tops), I rolled down the windows and shuffled my seventies playlist. First song: Allman Brothers “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” with its lyrics about hurricanes and pouring rain, followed by Hot Tuna’s “Water Song.” I love it when small things seem in sync with the larger forces of nature.
It’s been raining on and off all night. The greens in the backyard have lost their usual muting of dust and I can see how the citrus leaves, the grass leaves run through the spectrum from yellow into near black. It’s too early and cloudy for the sun. I could be elsewhere, some coastal town or against a tall mountain, a place where water feels more at home. Like England, except the desert heat, hangover from yesterday’s sun, still lingers.
Like most houses built last century here in the desert, mine lacks rain gutters, so water forms a drip line from the eaves, then taps a melody onto the ground. Each surface sounds a different note. I’ve opened all the doors and windows to let the music in and to pretend the breeze feels cool, the kind of air that shocks the skin.
I’d make a terrible Buddhist. Be here now is just a stepping off point for me, a spring board, or any other thing that catapults people from where they stand. Perhaps that’s why I’ve come around to believe in the solace of nature nearby. It has the capacity to transport me from where I am. Of course it helps to have traveled beyond the back wall, to have seen England (great now that silly children’s rhyme about France and underpants is in my head. Never underestimate the power of rhyme, whose force is not surprising since the human brain evolved for thousands of years without the written word and spoken words are easier to remember if they have an even cadence and rhyme. Now I can ponder the wonders of evolution all day to the beat of this playground ditty. Fantastic.). Where was I? Oh yeah, England.
I’m thinking of England, because one of my essays was just posted on a new site hosted in London, called The New Nature. Mine is called The Quiet of Trees. Next time I have the good fortune to travel to London, I’ll have a hoard of essays gleaned from this lovely website to help me plan the trip.