Today I walked on the thirsty Earth, and tipped my tongue to the skies. My ancestors tasted the sweetness of rain.
Over the past few weeks, I have felt the human energy gathering, gathering, around the idea of scarcity, or disaster. Over the past few days, I have felt the sigh of watery relief rising with the steam from the long-dry earth. I can sense the tentative joy – are we through it? Is it really here?
In my rush and excitement to be in the rain today, to feel the lean, elemental push of my body through the wind and water, I put on my “dressy” waterproof boots by mistake, with the too-thin soles and no ankle support.
But, I said to the Earth, the better to feel you with, my dear. I felt the shape of each cold, wet stone through the bottoms of my feet. I felt the relaxed give of wet, wild soil, under a thin spattering of bright green grass, for the first time this year. I was more careful with my footing.
Two deer paused across the sweep of our upper meadow and watched me walking towards them, a splash of awkward pink against the cool grays and browns of the day. When they turned and pranced away, they carried me along. I could feel the lightness of their rain-soaked bodies, the playful spring in their exploring hooves. I walked on.
I reached a fork in the trail and paused to consider my own path. Home quickly through a narrow, emerald meadow, to coffee, fire and words? Or up a wooded trail to the ledge of earth with the vastest view on our land? I chose the view. I needed to see the big sweep of mountain valley, snaking out towards the Santa Rosa plain, covered with mist and cloud. I wanted to imagine all the people bustling about their days with watery contentment in their bodies. Or just living their ordinary, difficult human lives, but with the rain soaking steadily into the earth around them.
Can you tell I love the rain?
I love the slick, burnished sealskin of a rain-washed madrone.
I love the cups of glistening water in the upturned live oak leaves.
I love that when I walk through the woods in the rain, trees become seals, snails, and sea serpents, rather than the fiery dragons of a warm, dry day.
I love the cool, dank smell of my wet hands after running them through a miniature forest of moss. (The moss is joyful because it is able to be what it is meant to be.)
I love the deeper intimacy of the Earth under a roof of cloud.
“Where are we?” Vinca asked me the other day, as we drove through rainy dusk into our community. “It looks strange.”
“It looks different, doesn’t it? After all these months of bright, bright sunshine and blue.”
“Yeah,” she and Milo both said wonderingly.
“I love the feeling when the rain sets in,” I told them. “It’s like we all share the same room.”
Hey, guess what? That’s true.