Thursday, August 2, 2018

New Mexico Rain—the Lord’s Plaything

dontravis.com blog post #296

Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
After last week’s homage to the upcoming The Lovely Pines, a couple of hearty thunderstorms turned my thoughts to rain in New Mexico.

As regular readers know, I was born and raised in southeastern Oklahoma and grew up with weather fronts that moved in overnight to dominate the skies for the entire day, spoiling outdoor plans and darkening moods. I’ve spent nights in storm cellars because the elements were so threatening. I’ve experienced rain in Texas and California and Colorado and Arkansas and Germany and Hong Kong, as well as other places I’ve forgotten. In each locale, rain seemed natural to the scheme of things. Inevitable. Something to be endured.

To me, rain in New Mexico is different. It’s the Lord’s plaything. And you may interpret “Lord” any way you wish: as nature, as fate, whatever. But for the purposes of this piece, He is my Master, my Higher Power.

Plaything? How so? When I see heaps of ominous gray storm clouds to the west that would have sent me to that Oklahoma storm cellar, I merely wonder if it will reach us. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t, depending upon His whim. A man can stand directly beneath such roiling banks and never get wet even though it is obvious water is dropping on his head. Virga, they call it. Precipitation falling from the sky that evaporates before reaching the ground. If that isn’t a teasing Lord, I don’t know what it is. Sometimes I see gray curtains of pelting rain in the distance and prepare for a drubbing, but it never happens. I look again, and the skies are clearing with spears of laughing sunlight penetrating white fluffy clouds. Mischievous behavior at the least.

At times, unexpected lightning strikes so close that I rush to turn off and unplug my computer. Strange, I don’t take the same precaution with the TV. Is it because that, as a writer, my computer is crucial to my continued existence? The television set? Not so much, although I’ve occasionally spent interminable evenings trying to read with one eye glued to a set that proudly proclaimed: “No Signal.”

Albuquerque parents teach their children to watch the mountains as they play in the arroyos—natural dry waterways that claim any child’s attention and imagination. Paved arroyos attract roller skaters and boarders. Rocky-sided ones become private playgrounds for children safe from adult eyes. But it can rain miles away in the Sandias without a cloud worrying an Albuquerque sky and send unexpected torrents of muddy water on it’s headlong and uncontrolled race straight downhill to the Rio Grande, an ever-thirsty river, turning these ravines into death traps for the unwary.

Rain is fast-moving in New Mexico. It comes and it goes, usually in a matter of minutes. If I have something planned, I simply wait half an hour before going to do it. Sometimes the drops fall softly, dampening the dry dust as if the Lord is sad and weeping for His people. A hearty rain signifies contentment and pleasure. A pelting one, beating angrily against the Earth, sometimes driven sideways by limb-breaking gusts of hurricanic winds, warns of His displeasure.

Come to think of it. New Mexico rainfall is not my Lord’s plaything. It is His voice. So listen well.


*****
Perhaps some psychiatrist out there can enlighten me on why things appearing on these pages find birth in my mind. That might make for an interesting post.

I hope you enjoyed my mindless musings.

Now my modified mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

If you would like to drop me a line, my personal links follow:

Facebook: Don Travis
Twitter: @dontravis3

Here are some buy links to the Lovely Pines, which is programmed for release on August 28:

Abaddon’s Locusts is wrapped and waiting for release on January 22, 2019. I’m working on the new book, The Voxlightner Scandal. Its publication date has not been determined.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


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