At the cabin last week, I was greeted by somber skies and cooler temperatures, a welcome relief from the hot and dry days since early July. Soon I heard the soft hissing of a drizzle. All day long the skies alternated between heavy downpours, light showers and brief bits of clearing. When the rain stopped, my neighbors and I would run out to take our walks, only to be chased back to our cabins by the next storm. For the first time in two months, my rain barrel filled to the top.
The next morning, I awoke to full-on sunlight, with no clouds to obscure or dull the blue skies. When I stepped outside, I was greeted by the most wonderful of smells: the after-the-rain, everything fresh, the world suddenly full of possibilities. Each blade of grass, pine needle and aspen leaf was gleaming, lit up in the sun. It felt like the world had been reborn. Plants that had been half dead, limp stalks curled over on themselves, had straightened—plumped up by a healthy life-giving infusion of water. When I went for a walk down the road, in the early morning stillness, chipmunks, ground squirrels and rabbits were everywhere, reveling, it seemed, in this renewed world.
Still, signs of autumn are starting to appear. The nights are getting colder, dropping down to the high 30s. During one longer interlude between storms, when the clouds cleared I could see the first new snow on Mount Meeker, just a dusting on top, which would melt the next day. Some of the aspen trees show a branch or two with yellowing leaves. Most of the hummingbirds have left already, and the ground squirrels will soon burrow underneath the ground for winter. It’s time to appreciate every day here now.