We are dead dry, the land chewed and burnt to the quick, the ethers as still as nature allows. Having arrived at the pinnacle of the season, we gaze over the precipice.
Arid winter is my favorite time of the year, but these few weeks before the rains come are singular. Felipe describes it as the time of suspension, as he says this I think, yes, that is it exactly; like the moment of faith in a free-fall, those few glorious, soaring seconds before we catch the grasp of progress and are channeled into the rain’s agenda.
For now, there is promise on the horizon, the air is thick with it. After sunset dark clouds tumbleweed the horizon. Heat lighting is the headliner. Center ring at the circus; we sit in the bull’s eye, the spectacle spins around us, a massive powwow to which we are not yet invited.
Morning news comes word of mouth; it rained in in Xoxocotla, downpours in Zacatepec. We are wallflowers, waiting for a suitor.
When I lived in Chicago I seldom bemoaned even the most ferocious weather. I clung to the belief that gale force winds, slush sprays, and the rapturous snow globe moments beheld in the city’s grand canyons were all I had to maintain my reverence of nature’s dominion. I was grateful to be imposed upon. But here in the palm of the Sierra de Huautla those encounters with weather have the quality of home movies from a past life, the film sepia, insubstantial.
This period does not correspond to the exaltation of Midwestern spring; like the opening of a hand, all Maypole and peony, perhaps a storm provides excuse to fill the hearth once more. Ours is a guarantee of violent takeover, a tsunami of clime that blasts flotsam with the force of a fire hose, drowns careless planning and leaves us in the midst of fecundity so swift, so prolific, there is no doubt of its supremacy.
Here at the Piedra Rajada , we are uncommonly well prepared this year, with well roofed housing for animals and storage for grain, windows mended, hatches battened. No, we will not escape without losses, but the threat is minimal in comparison with years past. Perhaps it due to this small security that this year– though water is not my element, I will plunge beyond my ability to tread.
© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer