I have been working hard all week, packing boxes for the local Humane Society thrift shop. My sister suggested weekends were for fun, too, so yesterday I drove north to visit the sunflowers of Northern Arizona.
These sunflowers provide stability for me. For fifty years, they have always bloomed out on Fort Valley Road north of Flagstaff. Every fall, fields and fields of sunflowers framing the mountains in the distance, under the monsoon clouds.
Perhaps someday these fields will give way to the growth of the town northward, but right now, this instant, as they have for the past half-century, they provide beauty that is without price and at the same time, totally free for the taking.
Gifts abide all around us, if we just look for them.
Our monsoon season starts in July. Not like an East Indian monsoon, where the rain rains buckets at a time, but a gradual build up of high thunderclouds that eventually rain when they feel like it. A lot of stern and drang, thunder and lightning, teasing sprinkles which sometimes transform into a gully-washer that fills the channels by the street, and sometimes just passes over with a sniff, saying, “Not today.”
The storm this morning was different, though. A gentle soaking rain, sometimes heavy, accompanied by ground fog so thick I cannot see my beloved red rocks. I have all the doors open and I am feeling the rain. Letting my pores soak in the humidity, hearing it stream from all the gutters into self-made lakes spreading across the ground because the earth is so full it won’t accept any more.
Each hummingbird feeder I have (one on each side of the house) has one resident hummer who just sits there, hunkered down, waiting for the rain to stop. This time of year they are mostly rufous, those beautiful copper-colored feisty birds that aggressively chase everyone off. In another two weeks they’ll be gone and our resident Anna’s will take over again for the fall and winter.
My mood is of quiet acceptance. Nothing I need to do, nowhere I need to go. Just being present to what the moment is.