Friday, May 22, 2009

My Soul is Dancing

It is raining in Arizona. Not the torrents coming from vicious monsoon storms, but a soft, gentle, constant rain. One that seeps into the needing earth giving both the land, and my soul, some much needed moisture. I should be out dancing in it instead of inside at my desk.
These gentle rains seem to revitalize me. Sometimes the sun and dryness here can be very harsh. Maybe it's my Celtic/Viking genetics. You know, the genes that keep telling me I belong in a more northern climate with ferns and forests instead of the high mountain desert area I live in. I like it here, but some days the harsh environs gets to me.
I know a shepherd in Oregon who used to live in Sedona, just off the rim from us. She had been raised in Arizona but moved to Oregon when she "grew tired of looking at the bones of the Earth". I had never thought about it until I heard her say that. "The bones of the Earth."
I do like it here. Maybe it's just this type of rain brings back memories of growing up in the Midwest where rain occurs much more often. Before living here my HHWB (Hired-Hand-With-Benefits) and I spent seven years in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Rain was a weekly occurrence. Plant seeds in the garden and jump back or you'd be flattened by the plants shooting skyward. Well, OK...maybe not quite that fast, but fast enough to see the growth from day to day. Here I beg and plead plants protected in Walls-of-Water to please grow and give us a few tomatoes for our table. Between the dryness, the 50 degree day/night temperature shifts in summer, and the rats-with-antlers (aka elk) it's a wonder that people can actually make a garden work. (Please don't tell my fellow Master Gardeners this or I'll never hear the end of it. I'm supposed to be "upbeat" and "enthusiastic" about gardening here. heeheehee)

A shot, from the house, of the stream and a bit of the pasture. The grass is turning a luscious green and getting deep. This means wonderful grazing for my sheep!
Above, a rarity to be treasured - a puddle down by the gate into the pasture.
A shot of the pine near the front door, its needles soaking in the cherished moisture.

Don't get me wrong. There are some real advantages in living here, as there is in any place you are. We may get snow that is three feet deep in one storm, but in about two days the roads are high and dry after the sun comes out. Being 7,000 ft. closer to the sun will do that for you. The breezes are fresh with the scent of pine. And that harsh sun I mentioned earlier will brighten every corner of your well as every corner of the house and barn, summer or winter.
But as with anything in life, moderation is a key factor. Too much of our sun is harsh on the eyes and skin. It bleaches out the fleece of uncoated sheep. Plants labeled "full sun" will wither and die unless part of the day isn't spent in shade. Like Icarus, we dare not get too close.
Days like we've been having, with the soft rains, also make me think of New Zealand, with the lush gardens and neighborhoods where missed family live. I look at my ten year old apple tree, barely as tall as me, and think of Val's apple trees - tall, lush, laden with fruit. Of Ross and Kelly's yard with Sam the Cat and I checking out the plants and trees.

So, for today, I shall dance in the rain as I plant my sweet pea seeds and feed the sheep. I know I won't be alone in my appreciation of the weather...already the sheep and chickens have started dancing without me. The sheep are just dancing for the joy of it. The chickens are dancing with the worms they have now found. Too bad their dance is at the worms' expense. :)
May you find something wondrous to dance about in your day today...


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

The soft gentle rain of late spring is also my favorite, I will enjoy it vicariously, we havent had any moisture since last month.
It is a harsh land to be sure. Personally, I like the 50 degree temp changes; we get those here too. Good to hear from you!
BTW, did you see your meme on my blog?

corinne said...

Great post!
I must admit, here in Iowa we are not quite dancing for joy at the thought of more rain, we have had more than our share, but I do understand the sentiment :).

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I almost called you yesterday, then realized I didn't not have enough "free" time to do a conversation with a friend justice. Been missing you. Last week I connected after 20+ years with an old horse friend from Manhattan; turns out she's still living in the area there with a new husband and a four-year-old. (OY! She's older than I am!) We're slowly catching up via email.

We're going horse camping this weekend with glorious weather predicted; come Tuesday send us some of that rain! Otherwise I'll be watering the garden.... Come to Oregon and stay with us awhile; it'll refresh you!

Mim said...

Good to here from you again. Your story is so Nevada also! Only the rain here brings up the fresh scent of sagebrush! Our grasses out where the sheep are crunch under your step. We may need to wait till fall for any rain again. No monsoons here.

Nancy K. said...

Enjoy the Dance!

Sharon said...

Yeah - what Mim and Becky said. I love the beautiful pictures I see on blogs of spring flowers, but I also love living so high the fleas and ticks have a hard time breathing. I love not having flea colors on my dogs and cat - no miserable itching and digging and they don't need heart worm medicine. You takes what you gets, and I think we gets plenty, but not plenty of rain. Lucky you!

Tina T-P said...

The Shepherd said he saw a "big Yellow spot" on the weather radar just outside of Flagstaff - that must be what's bringing you all your rain, while we, for once, will have a Memorial Day with out a cloud in the sky. Have a happy dance! T.

Wrensong Farm said...

What a wonderful post! I grew up in the desert and sometimes I find myself missing the "bones of the earth". The difference definitely is there you appreciate the rain where here you just get tired of it. (Though when we do have sunny days it makes those so much more appreciated!)