Saturday, June 19, 2010

Unlike Spain, the rain in Aticama falls everywhere...

Yesterday in the late afternoon, the rainy season began.  It was a symphonic experience.  The sky slowly turned black then off in the distance, faint thunder sounded.  I stopped, turned toward the hills and listened.  Clouds had been rolling in towards the evening for over a week but no rain.  I stood hoping for another sign.   Once again the sound of thunder, this time louder, closer, longer.  I hurried up to the house eager to share the news with Amaranth.  She excitedly asked me if I'd heard the thunder.  I replied "yes" with a smile.  We watched the horizon.  Lightening flashed.  Amaranth asked excitedly, "did you see that?".  I laughed, "Yes."  We headed to the deck and watched the coming storm together.  No rain in sight but it looked promising.  About an hour later, as I was laying listening in bed, I heard another sound over the noise of the fan.  I got out of bed and opened the window.  It was raining hard.  Lovely rain.

This morning my routine changed.  All the things that had to do with watering had been taken over by Mother Nature.  It's a drastic change.  The rain washed the dust off everything, even the car looked clean.   Imagine you've been wearing very dirty glasses and finally cleaned them.  The brilliance of everything is striking.   In just a little time the brown and tan of the landscape will be replaced by lush greens.  It seems to me that green has more shades than any other color.  As the season of rain continues things will take off and grow and grow and grow.  The big concern becomes keeping up with the growth.  There are vines to remove from plants.  There's mowing to do.  I mow with a string mower because strings don't mind when they hit a rock and it leaves a nice mulch.  If I don't mow things get quickly out of hand.  Mowing keeps the mosquito and tick populations down.  They hang out in tall grass.  Mowing keeps the noxious weeds from going to seed and reproducing.  We have something that looks like a lawn but it's made up of lots of other things beside grass.  Mostly it serves as a ground cover to keep the soil in place.

Today I raked, cleaned and caught up on some of the things I'd been putting off.  I  pressure washed another area.  I finished the afternoon by remaking an old lamp for a friend.

The lamp was made of bamboo that had split, the electrical parts were faulty and the cord was too short.  I measured the stem with some calipers and went searching for just the right piece of bamboo.  I found the perfect piece and cut it,  removed the branches and took it back to the shop.  After more measuring and pondering I selected the most beautiful section and cut it out of the middle.  The old stem on the lamp looked more like plastic than bamboo.  Whoever made the lamp chose some very sterile pieces of bamboo.  There were no joints or imperfections.  I love the randomness of nature.  The piece I chose featured a joint and some small branches attached to it.  You could tell it was from a living, growing thing.  It wasn't perfectly straight either.  The wind and other things had caused it to bend as it grew towards the sky.  I cut some slices of bamboo and refashioned the umbrella like shade and replaced the electrical components.  The finished lamp is a collaboration of mine with nature.  The eye doesn't simply register a lamp. Your gaze lingers following the soft curves and stripes along the surface.  This lamp has a new life.

As I worked on the lamp all the dogs came into the shop.  It had begun to thunder and they get a little nervous.  Moochie entertained himself by chewing on scraps of bamboo that had fallen to the floor.  Dupy, the oldest of our dogs, had been barking down near the garage so Amaranth went to check on him.  He'd crawled under one of the cars to hide from the thunder and had gotten stuck.  She tugged on Dupy's front legs and then the back until he was freed.  He lay there seemingly unable to stand so she came to get my help.  Before she finished telling me what happened Dupy walked up behind her.  His longing to be restored with us was stronger than his fear.  He has a pinched nerve in his hips so I'm going to try some doggy chiropractics tomorrow.

Towards evening it started to rain.  Amaranth and I pulled up a couple of chairs on the veranda to enjoy the loveliness of it.  Moochie sat beside us and twitched his head from side to side pondering rain.  His curiosity overcame his caution and he walked from cover out into the open, liquid sky.  He licked every surface and took a swipe at the air.  He stared up into the clouds wondering what this was all about.  I like being in Moochie's world.

No comments: