Rain has come to the mountains. Dark clouds and a dragon's roar of thunder and the sky opens up. It rains like Africa, like Borneo, like Brazil, and London and all those other places where slate-skies are the norm. The air has become heavy with the taste of moisture. After heat and dry and fire, there is wet and cool and flash floods and mudslides. The sliding scale of paradoxical balance. Were one to anthropomorphize, it would be irrefutable truth of a maniacal humor inherent in the universe.
The ground, once dessicated, no longer seems to scream-whether in pain or joy is conjecture-when the rain comes. Now, it greedily slurps at the water falling from the sky, drunkenly allowing excesses to puddle up. Once more, there is mud and rainbows and the peaks become mist-shrouded. The rides in the rain intimately acquaint me with the Gore-Tex of my hardshell and the rain-fly on my pack. Two innovations I am grateful for.
"Does it always rain like this?" We were asked.
"Sometimes, it rains harder," I replied with a shrug that was meant to answer everything. "And, these days, we are grateful for every drop."
"Did you see the locos out there dancing in glee?" The matron put in.
"We were getting ready to sacrifice a chicken for this," I added. When I off-handedly remarked about hoping not to get caught in a deluge on my way back up-valley, the matron smirked in my direction.
"You're the one who chose to ride your bike all summer," she said.
And all I could do was acknowledge the obviousness of the truth. I am either that hardcore or that stupid. Take your pick, though it's probably a little of both. This is part of the price; and all things for a price is the very nature of the deal. Only the cheap things get purchased with folding paper and jingling coins. Sometimes the penance is blood and karma, sometimes it's bicycling up the hill in a monsoon downpour.
Despite these gully-washing deluges, I am not naive enough to believe this will alleviate the fire danger. If we're lucky, the fire ban will drop to stage one, instead the stage two it's been at since half the state caught fire. It's queerly comforting to hear of floods and mudslides and heavy rains instead of thousands of acres being devoured by rampant flames.
Meteorological prophecy foretells of another few days before the jetstream slips to a drier and warmer pattern, thus perhaps making the monsoon fleeting. A lesson in impermanence. But before that, I watch it rain like Africa, like Borneo, like Brazil and London and all those other places where slate-skies are the norm, allowing the presence of moisture to seep in past the skin and marrow. Water is the most precious of substances, after all. Aman iman as it is said in Tamashek, which means; water is life. I might be a heretical bastard who doesn't believe in much, but, here and now, you better believe I'm thanking the Divine for every drop that falls from the sky.