A storm front is moving in. I can feel the barometer changing, but even more immediate is the scent of moisture on the light, periodic shiver of a breeze.
The breeze has died off again. There is a stillness to the air now. The trees seem almost to freeze in sheer anticipation of the hoped for showers to come. Oh, if only it does come this time! The entire state of Alaska, like so many other places, needs this rain desperately.
For the past week, Mother Nature has teased and taunted south-central Alaska with light sprinkles here and there, sometimes a short burst of actual light rain or sometimes just a forecast of sprinkles, only to have the sun pop back out and the clouds scud away as if to say, “Hah ha! Just kidding!”
Today has the look of something more substantial, so I cross my fingers and wait. Hmm … I should probably take Ronni out for a potty break now, just in case. As you know, she, like most dachshunds, dislikes wet feet.
I’m already looking forward to falling asleep to the steady sound of rain on the roof. It’s been entirely too long. The anticipation is real.
And so it begins. The first soaking rains of July feel like a renewal. I don’t feel any tearing desire to stand outside with my face to the stormy heavens, reveling in the downpour and running my hands through drenched hair, but I’m uplifted nevertheless.
A good, soaking rain after an extended period of hot, dry weather renews me as much as the dripping, forested world around me. I can see, and very nearly feel the earth expanding with the much longed for nourishment as rain drops fall, first on woefully dry but still green tree leaves, then glistening as it caresses wild rose and cranberry bushes, tall, thirsty stalks of fireweed and various other low-growing plants before finally splashing to the dry ground.
The earth itself darkens and swells like a sponge, sucking the moisture deep into the soil. Plant roots close to the surface sense the coming sustenance and strain tendrils towards the burgeoning dampness.
Ahh … the forest shudders in relief, then opens itself to the bounty that is summer rain.