A Good Day

It seems to be perversely part of human nature to never be satisfied.

Through months becoming years of drought, we in the northeastern New Mexico high-mountain desert worried about the lack of rain. Our brown grasslands, swirling dust devils, raging fires and smoke-poisoned air were prominent in every conversation.

Until just a month ago, when suddenly, for some of us, things changed.

Water began to come out of the sky, in thick sheets, on almost a daily basis. Not everywhere, not for long periods of time, but enough where it did appear – including where I live – to turn the prairie green and yellow – green weeds shooting to chest height, yellow wildflowers making wide swaths of color especially where run-off water has pooled.

Rain Gate

Now I hear complaints of pollen-allergies, and worries about the burrs and needle-like seeds that will permeate everything – especially the fur of four-legged pets – as soon as the short-lived grasses and flowers dry out this autumn. People hustle to find mowers and weed eaters, to chop down the lush growth, the absence of which was so recently bewailed.

Today, the sun is shining, there’s a cooling breeze, hummingbirds are hovering over the purple thistle flowers, and a dove is pecking seed from beneath my bird feeder. A few puffs of cloud float in a dust-free postcard blue sky. I’ve had to use the snips designed for nipping small limbs from trees, to cut down the largest red-root weeds blocking the steps to my home. A friend has promised to come mow, before I have company over Labor Day weekend. Not all my acres, just the area immediately around the house, so I can get to the bird feeder and the outside water hydrant without wading through chest-high weeds. So my guests can get into the cottage door without scratches to their legs and prickers in their clothes.

Nothing I can do will prevent the forthcoming torment to dogs and cat. Daily brushing, sessions of picking out burrs, even a close shearing of coats (canine at least) can reduce but not eliminate the pending assault by things that stick and sting and burrow into skin and paws. It’s been so long since we’ve had rain, and weeds, in summer that none of the current crew of pets has experienced what is in store for them. They are all too young.

Green Pastures

I am not too young. I remember, ten years ago, the last time we had summer rains and weeds and wildflowers and enough grass for horse hay to be a reasonable price. I remember the quill-like needles that result from those pretty yellow wildflowers dropping their petals, drying and disseminating their seed. I remember the cockleburs, brown and clawing, so sharp they pierce the leather of my shoes as I walk by them; so sharp they even caused my horses to limp until the spines were picked out of their hooves.

I remember, but today I will not complain. Today I enjoy the sun and the cool breeze and the green vistas and the dancing yellow flowers. Today I am grateful that we have had rain, and a respite from dust and fire and smoke. Today is a good day to Be.

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4 Responses to “A Good Day”

  1. ann garcia Says:

    Lovely writing, Niki, as usual. Enjoyed the descrips of the plentiful rains and resulting weeds. Funny. I don’t remember weeds particularly clinging to or piercing our dogs’ skins, but they probably did. I combed our dogs out a lot and got big heaping clouds of fur that blew off in the wind…I always hoped they’d make good bird nest stuffer.
    I love the gratitude in your heart, even for things that pierce!

    • chelawriter Says:

      Thank you yet again for your generous comments. I’ll remember your thought about nest stuffing the next time I clip the dogs and leave piles of fur behind. Am finally being sought after for a full time job, back in health care – as a Care Coordinator with MCOs – probably going to be working for Presbyterian starting later in the fall. Intend to continue the blog nonetheless.

      Niki

  2. Sharon Vander Meer Says:

    Nice post, Niki, and ain’t it the truth! Personally I’m happy with anything green at this point. Lovely photos.

    • chelawriter Says:

      Are we on hold for the writer’s group until September? And do we have a date then? My month is getting crammed, the only free weekend I have is the 21-21nd.

      Niki

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