It rained last night. When it rains here in the mountains so close to heaven, it is like a full orchestra performing for my enjoyment. I arrive early to find the best front row seat in the house, often on the covered front terrace where I can observe my garden of bougainvillea, azalea and birds of paradise.
There is a glass of fine Mexican wine, a Casa de Piedra Chardonnay or a Flora Springs Pinot Grigio on the table beside me to hydrate my soul as the humidity rises to care for my body. I have brought along a well-worn hardback copy of Gabriel Garcia Márquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" to calm my mind.
On page one, I begin to feel the air turn cooler. There is the calming sensation of the hair on my arms turning moist and rising in anticipation. The subtle suggestion of rain permeates my nostrils and brings a smile to my lips as I remember running barefoot in the wet grass and spinning wildly in the falling rain so long ago.
As the orchestra strikes up it's opening notes, I hear the distant thunder on the far side of the mountains that surround my home, rolling across the sky in its unique pianissimo dynamic marking and march-like feeling as a warning of the coming performance. As if the theater lights dimmed, the color of the skies turn down a bit.
I notice the movement in the garden in front of me as the delicate rose-colored flowers of the azalea turn upward to accept the heaven-sent drink they are to receive. A bird lands across the garden to look for sustenance before moving up under the overhang of the adobe colored arch above the gate to wait out the rain.
At first, I hear the patter of the rain as it descends upon the garden. The small drops glistening on the walk. They sit in small domes on the petals, rhinestones glistening in the sun like the stage lights reflecting from the brassy instruments of the orchestra. There is a haze in the air as it fills with moisture.
My dreamlike state of concentration of reading is suddenly broken as the bass-like thunder becomes louder and closer punctuated with the crashing of an occasional cymbal. The thunder begins to pick up, increasing in intensity and suddenly fades away to nothingness before climbing again, stirring my soul with the sounds of nature.
Soon, I put the book aside to concentrate on the wonder of the moment. I take the glass of wine and move to the edge of the terrace just as the tempo of the rain picks up. Standing there I am aware that drops of water are altering the wine in the glass and I take a sip and admire the new, but subtle saline taste to the sweetness of the grape. I feel the rain fall on my face and begin to run down my cheeks as tears of joy.
And, then, as suddenly as the heavenly orchestra begin it's performance, the rain stopped and went silent. The thunder receded to the other side of the mountains and the sky lit up again. I returned to my chair and opened the book, but found it difficult to get back into the fiction of the book. My mind attempted to record the reality of the brief moments I had enjoyed. The experience moved into my sub-conscious to be pulled up later when I will need it during a dry spell. It will be there when I need it.
After a long and peaceful sleep, I awoke to the brightness of the cloudless morning sky. Not only because the joyful sun has literally risen from behind the mountains on the horizon, but because I am filled with a sense of the new day. A day of change. A new light shining on the possibilities of an opportunity to create an ever-increasing existence. A new painting, a new chapter in one of my books, a change in mindset that causes me to think differently about the world around me.
Rain is the sound of change. Moisture is the essence of all of life as we know it. Without the rain we would cease to exist and so I embrace the rain.