Idle Thoughts From Mt. Waas
It rained!
by Ollie Harris
Aug 15, 2013 | 1159 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I had no inkling that it might rain yesterday. Sure, there were a few heavy, dark clouds in the late afternoon sky, but there was lots of blue between them. It wasn’t until the shocking crash of thunder that knocked the power out that I walked to the door and saw that it had begun to sprinkle.

I got the section of leftover rain gutter and put it in place to direct any potential runoff from the downspout out onto the parched lawn. But, the sun was still shining and, if not for the continuing thunder, I might not have expected it to actually rain.

Then the rain came. It came in great lashing sheets driven by a brisk north wind. It spattered coldly on my bare feet. The late afternoon sun was still shining, glinting off each raindrop. I looked into the west and watched the rain come ripping from the sky. It rained for a long time.

I was thrilled, what with the sounds of lashing rain, the rumble of thunder, the smells, and the spattering on my bare feet. I watched two Navajo children walking north into the teeth of the rain. They seemed to be enjoying it as I knew I would have been had I been in their place.

I tried to put a name to the feelings I was having. It came to me that this must have been what it felt like to win the lottery. I was all smiles and good, happy feelings. The rain continued for about a half-hour, until it was running down the driveway, puddling and spilling through the fields and around the parched trees and shrubs.

I have a strong sense of gratitude, which began at my mother’s knee. I am always thankful for rain. As the rain overwhelmed the rain gutters, and a great stream flowed out onto the grass, I uttered a smiling “Thank-you” several times under my breath.

As the rain pounded itself out, and became a whispering thing, I looked far to the south and could see a dust storm near White Mesa. It had not rained down there. I know what it is like to see it rain somewhere else and to experience the discouragement of blowing dust instead of rain.

We recently attended a graveside service in the little Colorado town. They, like us, are experiencing a severe drought. I noticed that the man, a relative of mine, who dug the grave had not encountered any moisture at any level in the digging of the grave. The earth was bone dry from top to bottom. It used to be a topic of conversation to speak of how deep the moisture went, or how far down it was to damp earth.

As we left the little Colorado town, traveling northeast, there was a storm brewing near the base of the mountains to our northwest. The storm kicked up a great dust storm that caused us and the other drivers to turn on our headlights. I had never seen it so dry around the little Colorado town.

One of my favorite memories of being young in Moab was an evening when I was afoot downtown. I encountered the beautiful Anita. I asked her if she would like to go with me out to La Sal to experience the glorious smells of sagebrush and rain from the recent storms. She was agreeable so I jogged home and got a car.

We drove out to La Sal, rolled the windows down and slowly cruised the backroads. We turned onto the road that goes into Browns Hole, parked the car, and walked in the pitch black darkness and dampness, inhaling the pure air. I honestly don’t know how it can get much better than to be young and out with a beautiful girl, amidst the aromas of sagebrush and rain.

I love the rain.

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