Friday, October 16, 2015


You wonder what will break while you watch it, what you will find damaged afterwords. I knew without really registering what was coming. I'm new here. And there weren't any warnings, certainly not while watching last night's TV.

I had looked at the radar picture, figuring that we might actually get a little rain (undetermined at this point but a large wedge of rain heading our way), but this season's experience discouraging me from the hope that it would do anything but fade out as it approached, go around to all those other neighboring areas that collected weather rather than here.

The sky had gradually changed from blue with white wisps, to distant cumulus hills climbing the sky, to gradual greying. That's when I checked the radar before going back to the TV. Then it all turned brown.

They explain that the front of a storm creates wind which, down here, kicks up a lot of dust. They call it a haboob, showing pictures of the advancing walls swallowing the city. I'm not sure today qualified as one, despite the color, despite everything whipping around. I've always thought it should be much denser, harder to see through, dramatically destructive. Since it wasn't, of course I went outside to watch it go through.

The wind kicked up plenty of dust, wisping through the yard, the neighbors' yards. Trees swayed, the new ones in the yard swayed, resisted snapping. Bits of something pelleted the metal roof of the patio, not enough to bring our basset inside. He just stood under the big pine, looking around as if wondering what the fuss was. The little one, of course, huddled under me, thunder rumbling in the distance. Empty plant pots rolled from where they had lain for several days, our energy having vanished the moment their contents had gotten into the ground, caged from rabbits,  and watered. And watered. And watered. The tiny bit of energy left over was reserved for admiring the way nearly all of them had burst into bloom once in their new homes: orange bells, red honeysuckle tubes, white sage petals crawling up and down the stems.

Wait! What? White? I thought we were getting purple. And fragrant. I haven't gone out to confirm my suspicion that in breeding out the color they'd also bred out the fragrance.

A white plastic bag danced two backyards away, suspiciously like the ones we'd used to protect the car from the plants and vice versa. Perhaps by the time it finds a stopping place it won't be traced back to us. So far there's been not a drop of rain here to weigh it down on its journey. The wind has settled down just a bit, color changing from brown to something fewer than 50 shades of grey, window views showing no signs of damage. The radar map confirms rain all around us, a clear spot in the weather right here, like magic.

Or a curse.

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