Monsoon season

The thermometer on the porch reads thirty five when I wake up.  Grass out on pasture is laced with frost.  Yellow leaves of cinquefoil stick to my damp boots like polka dots. All morning it looks as if my squash plants are going to give up and give in to that sickly, mushy green of a frozen plant, but they do not.  They survive.  Not to say they will ever produce.  Just staying alive here is asking a lot for a crook neck squash plant. My little Arabian shows the first sign of fuzz from his winter coat, though the ranch raised ones shrug off the rain that drips down their manes and muzzles.

The monsoon season has settled in.  The hot and dry of May and June are but a misty memory. And when this pattern passes, the first chill of fall will find us as always unprepared, wondering how it came so soon, and where did the summer go.

It’s an arduous land, make no doubt.  Even now, in the easy season of summer, when tourists come and go, smile and laugh and play and leave their world and worries behind as if this were some wild park at Disneyland.  They will all be gone by winter.  Ok by me, as I’ll remain, but I’ve never been much for the social scene.

So here we are in mid July and the weather site on the internet we check each day has rain clouds for as far as one can see in the forecast.  This is how it should be, I am reminded, but I still remember summers in other places, hot and dry, where we swam naked in the river or sea, sand between my toes (yes, bare feet!), sat out in shirt sleeves and shorts at night under the stars, and took a siesta mid day.  Our spring this year was as close as it gets, with the never ending blue bird blue sky that made one long for a bad ass cloud to break up that blue and whirling dervish dancing of rain and hail on the metal roof.  Now we have that.  Every day.  Now we’ve got the monsoons, and it’s hard to complain because it’s greening up the pasture (sorry, it can’t do much for the red hillsides killed by those nasty little black beetles).

And I try to enjoy every wet, damp chilly storm and rainbow spreading across pasture knowing the fast and furious spell of summer will slowly sink into the comforting cradle of winter…


Amidst the changing landscape of green hills turning red and brown.

Give up, give in, fall deep into the darkness.

I try to stay afloat.  So hard in the rushing currents.  Waiting for my island to capture me, hold me up, pin me down long enough for roots to grow, flowers to bloom, seeds to take shape for next year’s dreams.

Wanting the yellow brick road to appear before me.  Instead there is a discernible path of last year’s aspen leaves still untrodden and I need to find my own way.

But this morning there is hope, relief, as I watch the footprints of my polka dot boots trailing behind in the frosty grass.

Last night’s rain lingers in low heavy clouds not yet broken and gone, and promising to renew again by mid afternoon.

For now there is cold wet ground before the morning sun.

Silver droplets on the railing

Each with a little world within them

Enter and lose yourself inside and away

Beads of rain clinging to the bottom of the rusted steel railings like welding lag or a row of sparkling diamonds dripping from a rough cut mine.

And inside each one are upside down images of brown and green hills over layered grey skies

Deep stratum of clouds, draped like velvet and barely moving

A lacy veil slung low along her hips in her slow dance of summer

Languid in the early hours

Like thickening water waiting to freeze

And by afternoon rain on the roof will drown out the sound of the growing parade of ATVs

Where for now the wilds are swept away in the murky waters of the monsoons

But I remain here

Hungry for more of whatever she hides

Starving for the wilds


7 thoughts on “Monsoon season

  1. Oh, please keep telling us about the rain on the roof and the sound of the thunder…sounds more magnificent there than anywhere I’ve ever heard…sounds like it’s “Rolling Down The River”…just awesome.

    The last photograph is quite amazing…almost 3 dimensional! Wow, and I can see how the grass has greened up even more than when we were there. The horses sure look to be enjoying it!

    I want to know when you hear the first coyote, too!

      • They have been talking to us every morning in our frosty walk down pasture, howling from east to west. Gunnar is learning to live with them a little better (and stays closer after his face to face encounter in the spring). What I love most is his letting lose, throwing up his head, and howling back at them. Wonderful to see such a harmless but primal reaction from a domesticated dog.

  2. Bummer, sounds like we missed them by less than a week!
    You HAVE to video Gunnar howling with the coyotes and share it with us!! He and Cody would have a blast howling away! Cody still loves to howl with that caterpillar toy (remember that?) but the best time he has ever done it was last year when we were at the ranch and I told him we were saying good-bye to the coyotes which we heard howl almost every night or early morning. He lifted that head up and howled away…of course with help from the squeaking caterpillar that I had brought from home! I even took a video of it!

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