Our first winter storm came in a few days ago. It arrived Saturday with heavy, warm winds, blowing for hours on end with just a few drops of rain. I perched on an old red wicker stool on our patio, just under the eves, absorbing the power of it all as the redwoods and oak, plum and cedar all waved their arms madly about hailing in the rain to come. Wind chimes sung and notes rang out across the yard, birds grew silent and then it came, heavy, soaking rain that would come down for hours on end. Inside for most of it, I didn’t realize how much it had rained until we ventured out for a walk. The skies had cleared a bit and it looked safe, so we headed toward the park. The first thing I saw was a teenager without his shirt on – I thought, what’s he doing out here shirtless? Then, I saw the bunch of them – several boys in their swim trunks skim-boarding across a lake created by the downpour! Here in the park where there was just grass a few hours ago, now there was a shallow lake where they could play. How fun! I wanted to strip down and go running out into the water – my little girl inside wanted to play, but the adult said to keep buttoned up, don’t get dirty, don’t get wet. The tug was strong.
Went walked out across the little bridge to our trail. The first thing we saw was our little muskrat who paddled along in the muddy canal alongside the trail – seeing him is always a treat as he rarely makes an appearance. He paddled along, disappearing into the reeds, his little tail making a visible wake behind him. Then, I heard them – way up high. The first wave of Sandhill Cranes heading south. They were heading into the wind so their song was very faint, but as I stood squinting into the sky, their formation changed from one long, straight line of birds into their typical “V” and they continued on until they were quickly out of sight. A hawk swooped down low and as we watch him, a long-legged white heron passed by, heading for the newly formed lake. Before we reached home, another flock of cranes passed over, this time, more audible as they made their way across the grey sky. I watched their formation, watched one lone crane make his way from the middle of the “V” until he found his spot in line with the rest, and off they went toward their wintering grounds a few miles south.
The wind blew in as I felt a little sprinkle on my face and I took a deep breath of rain-cleansed air and felt the connection between man and nature. It is the most powerful connection I know.