"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

06 July 2012

Monsoon

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.    

10 comments:

  1. I believe I would be thanking somebody too after all those fires. I'm happy you're getting some relief, and I don't even feel sorry for you riding in the downpour. That's a small price to pay. I say you came out ahead on that deal.

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    1. Thank you. Y'know? Riding in the rain doesn't bother me a bit. If that's the worst thing that happens, than it's doable.

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  2. This was a great read Robbie and I particularly liked the line: '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.'

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  3. This was deliciously refreshing; words like slurp and seep seem sensuously wet even while reminding me of the childish joy of puddle jumping. I am holding heated (99*) breath and waiting for a cool front that should blow in Sunday night. (I've got my fingers crossed that this heavy, thick damp air might darken into storms tonight...)

    "Only the cheap things get purchased with folding paper and jingling coins." Love that line.

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    1. Thank you. Hopefully, ya'll will get some relief soon.

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  4. So glad to hear you're getting some rain in your parched corner of the world...and happy that chicken was saved. ;D

    Having spent a great deal of my life in "those other places where slate-skies are the norm" I'm having trouble these days with too much sun and heat. At least--so far--the NW has been spared the fires.

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    1. We'll take what we can get. We'll be getting heat again soon enough. I have a feeling it'll be ninety up here before summer's out, though I hope to be wrong.

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  5. Lovely piece (sorry I haven't been round for a while). I like the way you bookend your storm with that sentence about slate skies. Fab.

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