Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Rain

Since the official arrival of spring on Saturday, March 19, the rain has been coming down hard on Santa Clara Valley. This hill, this valley, never seemed so lush green. I exaggerate, of course. Every time we get plentiful rain in spring, and there have been many such years in the last two decades between droughts, these hills and valleys become as verdant as the imagination allows.

Today was particularly wet. Strong winds accompanied the rain that fell in gray, slanted slabs, flooding roads and fields. I walked across one of these fields to the creek near my home. It was swollen with brown, rushing water that looked like a small river in its own right. The oaks, sycamores and cottonwoods that lined its banks swayed with wind and dimpled the creek with drops. The ancient sound of water against rock filling the woods is the gift of a day like this. You listen to this music, the music of earth and sky and forest, and feel peace enter your body and soul.

Gulls and geese flew in formation across a barren sky. I heard birds chirping in the upper reaches of the trees but couldn't see any. A calla lily and several stands of cattails moved to and fro as the creek flowed past them toward the sea. I could see cows moving briskly on the hills through the gap in the trees. It was is if they were unsure of where to graze, since the grass looked so tempting everywhere. It was a comical bovine sight.

The forecast calls for more rain in the coming days. You can almost sense the wildflowers preparing to shoot forth from inside the earth when rain ends. Poppies, lupines, sorrels, soon they will sprout by the roadside and on meadows and forest floors. I don't miss the sun. We will have plenty of it soon enough as the long days of summer approach. Now is the time for rain, when the sounds of the world fall away and all the silences we have known since childhood weave enchanting stories of love and longing.

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