No Rainbow

Summer in Texas is normally very hot and very dry. In East Texas, you can add very humid. You can pretty much assume that if you have not had enough rain by June 30; forget it for the rest of the summer. Only the occasional afternoon heat shower might dampen things.

It was just such a shower that made this impression on me. Out in the paddock south of the ranch house I was checking a group of young heifers that had recently been weaned. It was a very still and extremely hot afternoon. Suddenly, with the sun still shining, a cloud turned dark and a heavy thunderstorm dropped down on me and the paddock around me.

Not having shelter, I leaned close to a tree and waited for the storm to pass. I was joined by insects and ants dashing up the trunk out of harms way. Passive observation made me aware of how expressive the storm was. The large rain drops shimmered as they fell in the bright sunlight. It seemed like inches between the huge droplets. You could actually see the space. I watched as the drops hit leaves of grass splitting in a shower of water spray. As the storm waned, there was a stillness accompanied by an aroma of earth and moisture that is difficult to explain in words. I know that you know what I mean. It’s what Mother Nature smells like.

I had made a dash for the barn, but before getting there slowed to a walk. There was no use to try and out run this storm. I was wet to the skin and felt cool and good. I enjoyed it after being so hot moments before. Behind me, the heifers had moved into the middle of the paddock to stand in the cool rain. Perhaps they enjoyed it as I did.

Then it was over. It ended as suddenly as it had started. The paddock shimmered in the afternoon sun as heat fog hung close to the grass. I looked up into the blue sky curious what I might see, but there was no rainbow.

This was written the summer of 2007, but was misplaced.