Warning: This post has audio. Best listened to with headphones but on a mid to low volume. Some portions will seriously hurt your ears if up too high.
(Took off autoplay on the video for the sake of my other posts so if you want to hear the rain audio I recorded in surround sound click play on the video at the bottom.)
If I've said it once, I have said it a thousand times, I love the rain. Plain and simple, pack your bags we're done here.
Ok... so I lied. But not about loving the rain!
Although I really don't like to drive in it...
I am often a bit too overcritical of Texas. In fact I find it a bit boring and uneventful at times. If you have read some of my other blogs, you would probably have guessed I am a bit more of a city person than anything. Though Texas may have some of the biggest cities, San Antonio being one of them, more often than not they just don't feel much like the big city. Even if you disagree with me, all but a few cities in Texas are tiny little towns. Between those there is a bunch of nothing really.
There lies a point that is arguably good and bad. On one hand, I do love to get out into nature full on sometimes. The thrill of fresh air, a harsh sun beating down, animals doing their animal things. (Stop thinking that way you pervert.) It's all very nice to be right in the middle of it sometimes. In some areas you really have to take a drive to even realize that nature still exists. Here though that's a little less of a fact and a lot of land in Texas is not really developed except the occasional farm or ranch. Even those need to be closer to the cities, if not on the outskirts.
On the other hand, it is definitely not something I love to see every day all day long. In some small towns, as I am sure is the case with many in the U.S., that is really all you have and to top it off a lot of that is just desert. I had enough sand in my childhood to really jade me toward the desert. I do, on occasion, wonder about the ecology of it but I like to think about the desert from a distance. My hometown was in far west Texas and if you have ever driven from San Antonio or Austin to El Paso, you will know that there is nothing in between except cactus and sand. To be fair there are very nice, small, mountains but generally you're not stopping your 8 hour drive to go on a hike.
But as I sit here with my window open, smelling the fresh rain, listening to the thunder roll and the water drop and pool up... I begin to understand what I would miss about this place. Texas is very interesting in its storms. First there are the pure thunder storms. I don't know if this is a common occurrence (I'm sure it is) elsewhere, but here it happens quite often. Thunder... just plain thunder, a sky of dark clouds, and a fast but cool wind. Often it doesn't even rain at all and the temperature is just amazing.
Rain though... that's where Texas really steals my heart. Even in some of the rainiest parts of the state it is sometimes quite a rare occurrence. Naturally when rain comes, everyone is glad. No one really has a definite clue when the last rain storm was, but everyone knows when we are due for one. It's like an instinct passed down from somewhere long ago, and when it happens, the mood seems to be a little lighter.
It's quite a violent thing really, these rain storms. Accompanying this storm is usually winds, lightning, and thunder (not to mention the damn humidity the next day...) but for all its violence there is some beauty wrapped up in it. Mother nature must be the only one entity capable of such raw power, destruction, violence, and yet in all of it be able to deliver such beauty.
What is this beauty one might ask? I don't really know. What is beautiful about a painting or a kiss? Can you really say? What is so beautiful about a child being born? The very act of child birth is violent in nature and yet because of that very nature it is somehow beautiful. I cannot say why I feel this way about the rain. It's many things that are really nothing. It's the smell of wet dirt and grass. It is the sound of water droplets falling on leaves and puddles. It is the sound of a car driving past on the wet pavement. Perhaps even the sigh of relief that you can't explain but comes after a long drought. Lightning that flashes and reminds us that we struggle every day to harness that type of power. Thunder rolls with more ferocity than a stage full of percussionists and rocks the walls of the home you feel so safe in.
Yet in the end, for all the destructive and beautiful power of nature, the world still turns. Rain clouds move on like a visitor just passing through and in its wake it leaves bull frogs to croak and fresh green blades of grass to spring up like soldiers at attention.
Then it is over. As quickly as it came, quicker did it go. A fleeting beauty, one we may never control.
In Texas we see all of it. From the long dry drought to the torrential rain that I love so much. If I ever leave this place, I know there will be rain elsewhere. Perhaps more... maybe less... But it will never be like a Texas storm. Something about this place is really special and I can't place my finger on it. That's the thing I will miss most about Texas....