Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Rain Coast Evening
It's kind of hard to describe our spring rains to someone from "away." They're not dramatic - no typhoons or twisters, or even thunderstorms - but they demonstrate the word steady in a clear and spectacular way, falling in sheets, straight down.
The rain falls upon the stones of the hillsides, gathers together and rushes down, tumbling and laughing in rivulets that jump with effervescent abandon over ledges, before swirling in eddies and carrying on their way, coursing towards wetlands of our valley.
The valley's lungs - it's rivers - breathe in those dancing downhill tumblers and hold them within their swift currents, expanding sometimes even above their banks, before yielding that water in exhalation to the bay.
Grassy fields are soft with rain that wells up around your boots as you walk and, at the estuary, the landscape changes from bright green to mirrored grey and silver as fields flood with the rain and renewing silt borne down from the hills above.
The tide, its beating heart a testament to the enduring love affair of Ocean and Moon, moves the water up and down, rising it into salt marshes and then pulling it back again to reveal sand, and stone, and mud flat, and herons fish according to its rhythm, dining daily on the abundant small creatures carried in its grasp.
In the forest, all that is green is intensified, Moss becomes a lush, glowing, verdant carpet that blankets stones and trunks and branches, its edges bedecked with blue-grey lacy lichen. New leaves, looking too delicate to withstand the weather, stand up in bright contrast to rain-darkened branches, cloaked in clear water and - when the rain stops - bejeweled with crystal droplets that make rainbows in the breaking light. Fern are born on the forest floor, moving like dancers as they gracefully unspiral their long stocks and then open their arms to embrace the damp air. Heavy rain drops, accumulated in the evergreen canopy above fall with heavy "plops" onto the carpet of last fall's leaves spread upon the ground, and mushrooms poke exploratory fingers through the loam.
When night falls on rainy days, a dark velvet blanket wraps itself around our houses and raindrops make music on the roof and windows, lulling us to sleep.
We're having just such a night, after just such a day, this evening. I'm sitting listening to rain music and the swish of tires on the wet road below my window. I see the streetlights reflected orange against the black mirror of wet pavement, and feel grateful for my comforts. A soft blanket covers my legs and feet, a book and my glasses sit beside me, awaiting my attention, and the steam from my cup of tea makes its fragrant way towards my nose.
It's time for drawing in, for quiet and for rest. I wish you peace and calm this evening; comfort and coziness and love. Sleep a restful sleep and dream gentle dreams. Wake refreshed and filled with good cheer in the morning.