Welcoming back the stars

We’ve had a week of on-and-off showers. It’s been the strangest of transitions that I can remember: We’ve gone from 90° days straight to 60° days, without any of those idyllic, beautiful Fall days where the sun is soft and you can work outside without sweating yourself into a puddle. The drought season this year has been so bad that there is leaf-drop from the trees as they attempt to conserve what little water they can find.

But rain showers – what a relief. It’s as if this tension upon the land has been relieved to a great degree. The moisture is being held well in the land, helped by 80%+ humidity. So even though you’re acclimatized to 90° weather, you can sit outside and barely feel a chill.

The relief in the air is inspirational:

Welcome back, old friends

For the dust and smoke of summer,
for the haze of inverted atmosphere,
for the wind-blown roils of loose objects,
for the dust of the road, lifted by the speeding car;
dust which stubbornly refuses to fall to earth,
all who until now have occluded any reminder
I have had of your presence.

Rain, welcome rain,
bringing life again to dusty meadow,
bringing shocking color again to blooms,
bringing cleansed air, easier to breathe.

The scent of a dry forest
drifts to me
its delicate resins and greenery
freed from the prison of constant dust.

The stars, so few these last months
have returned by the hundred-thousands,
and for the first time in so long
I can see the arc of the Milky Way.

Child of the 50’s that I am,
I look for a satellite to pass.

This blessing of a few days of rain
has returned so many things to us;
water for the well,
the clatter of leaves,
their close-held raindrops falling,
striking other leaves,
finally to smack the ground.

The scent of the forest again;
the feel of well-worn deck boards soft again underfoot,
free from the teeth-edged grit of a long, hot summer;
welcoming the sight of stars, constellations, and Laniakea
(our new name for our visible universe).

Welcome back, my five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, hearing;
Welcome back from summer’s dusty haze.

All of it tonight singing loudly, “God is… God IS!”

And there, everywhere, as wide and deep as the starlit night,
As soft as the lull between breezes,
As gentle as that pause between deep inhale of forest scents and relieved exhale,
God smiles: “I was never away.”

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