Rain. Its primordial rhythm on the metal roof calls me, lures me seductively like an enigmatic wood nymph out into the ink black night. Akin to the murky depths of the ocean, the moon and stars are shrouded behind this heavy cloak. Darkness is complete. I stand in the doorway and look out as if with closed eyes.
Suddenly a close strike of lightening, the ranch illuminated before me instantly, seemingly unnaturally as if under glaring spot lights of a semi truck and I can see it all for just a second, the dirt drive, the cabins, the grove of aspen trees and old manure spreader we set there as an odd sort of decoration. Then the blackness returns and seems cavernous.
The dog and I step out into the abyss. Now the rain taps on my hard brim hat and I break the blackness with a beam from my flashlight. The drops of cold rain illuminated like a million diamonds falling from the sky. They feel close to ice, close to snow. A soft sign that summer fades as the tired aspen, leaves paling as their annual brilliant grande finale is about to begin.
We follow the flashlight’s beam to the barn and open the gates to allow the mare and foal a warm dry shelter for the night. They are there waiting, bright yellow eyes captured by the flashlight. I return to the cabin and release a contented sigh, kicking off the muddy boots and hanging the damp slicker by the door. They will be dry by morning when I slip into them again.