Thursday, July 5, 2007

Rainstorms wear many faces

We had another crash-bang-flash night Sunday. Earlier this year, these were kind of fun after about three years with very little rain at all. The anemic rains we did get in those years weren't accompanied by much strum und drang. Back in April, I think we had a full week of nighttime thunderstorms full of thunder and lightning.

Often, these storms would be a series of little storms, each equipped with its own thunder and lightning, and each of which apparently came directly over my roof. Generally they took an hour or two to pass, which I know full well because I couldn't sleep through that.

Neither could my dog. By the third night, she had had it. For years, she slept at my feet--under the covers--but for the last few years, she's been unable to jump onto the bed any more, so she has her own bed with a nice blankie to roll up in if she wishes. Thunderstorms have never bothered her before, but we haven't had many this loud. Particularly day after day after day.

After one particularly wall-shaking flash and boom, she pawed urgently at the side of the bed. She barked. Let me in! When I picked her up, she was actually trembling. She soon settled down, curling up beside me, and you know, the fellow creature comfort felt pretty good to me, too. She went to sleep. I lay, listening to the rain, the thunder, watching the lighting flashes reflected on the walls. The thunder faded to a grumble, then a murmer, then nothing. The rain stopped. The quiet woke her up, apparently, and she prepared to jump down. I lifted her instead, and she went back to her bed.

Sunday was another of those major crash boom flash storms. Again, it was 3 a.m. Chamomile stopped about 4 feet from the bed and gave an imperious, "BARK!" She jumped in my arms as soon as I leaned over. This time she wasn't trembling. She trudged on top of the covers to the foot of the bed, then came back to settle down. She was safe. She knew it. And again, we lay and listened to the storm rage. It lasted about 45 minutes to an hour, but major thunder was over in 45 minutes.

Monday was a different matter. About 6 p.m., I had lain down for a little nap when the rain began to fall, tentatively at first, then with a firm drumming of heavy rain on the roof. I could hear the steady splash as the rain slid off the roof and hit the patio concrete. Already drowsy, I snuggled under the duvet, pulling it up around my neck. I closed my eyes and drowsed, reveling in the softness, the coziness, the sound. Perfectly safe, perfectly comfortable, at peace, contented. The raintime made a wonderful day of a pleasant one, the way two weeks of daffodils star-bursting in the spring can make the whole season memorable.

As I dozed, I drifted, imagining the smell of New Mexico during and after a rain. The smell of wet greasewood is so fragrant, one simply stands in the doorway taking long, deep breaths that draw the smell deep inside. In August, the "rainy season", thunderheads would push and pile up on the east side of the mountains until they spilled over to the west side of the mountains and the valley below. A breeze pushing the cloulds would add the scents of mountain pine and pinon to the greasewood. Heavenly. And dozing, half-asleep, I imagined I could smell it again....


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

are you ok