REMINISCING ABOUT “REAL RAIN”
The “Remarkable” Water Outlook for 2018 – from The Taos News
According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, there is “little chance of recovering snowpack for the coming year.” As of Feb. 1, snowpack stands at eighteen percent of normal. At this time last year, the snowpack stood at 158 percent of normal. Historically, large wildfires tend to occur in drought years that follow several wet seasons.
I remember real rain. Not the western “monsoon” you can see rolling in from a hundred miles away that gives you time to grab your laundry off the line. Not the huge gusts of wind that sway the young cottonwood trees, drum rolls of thunder and explosions of light that jolt your racing heart. A wild laugh and you're scrambling for shelter. A violent downpour with bouncing hail. A flash flood in the river. Then clearing. The sweet pungent smell of wet sage. Fifteen minutes and it's gone. Storms you can drive out of on the way to town. A regular blessing. Amen.
Connecticut rain precipitates, a cold mist on your cheek, then a grey drizzle from a laden sky. A methodical rain that soaks every pore in the thick, black earth, down through the roots and drives the earthworms out. A melancholy rain that patters on the shingles like a lullaby. A gurgle in the drainpipe, greenhouse gloom, the dampened dusk beneath the trees. The whizzz of water under the tires, the red streaks of light on the tarmac at night. The way rain clings to the holes in the screen. The wet smell of rust. A ubiquitous rain that spatters the night. Starts and fades. And starts over at dawn. Rain that soaks your shoes, drips off your umbrella into your collar. Rain that chills the air and freshens the lawn to an impossible green. On the broken sidewalk, red buds of the maple in pools of April rain. A robust, romantic spring.
Rain in Detroit from a leaden sky. (Motown gets more rain than Seattle.) Sullen rain. Stubborn rain. Brown roiling water sloshing the curb into the storm drain. Buses rolling by, splashing your legs with a muddy spray. Cursing and shivering. Sentenced to forever without pardon or grace. Day after day. Cold. Brown. Grey.
North Carolina rain that slicks the beaches; traces of foam along the tideline. Glimmers that rustle in the tilting leaves, dancing gentle down. Shining slickers hanging from wall hooks, dripping on the library floor. Racks of soaked umbrellas folded like bat wings. And one outrageous supercell night, exploding like bombs right overhead. Punishing. Personal. Vindictive. Chasing us all to the same bed. Parents and teens, dog and cat, cringing together under the quilt. By those million-megawatt flashes, the children's pale cheeks. Eyes like tunnels. Dilated circles staring at us. Our nervous laughter. Hugging, clutching. Our hearts double-tripping. Can lightning burst right through the roof? It can't. (I hope it can't.) But we'd never been caught in a hurricane. What did we know about rain?