It started to really rain last night and the temperature dropped and I had to pull up a blanket in the early morning just before the alarm went off, in the dark of the morning.

Fall, and that means end of summer and winter on the doorstep and Oh Lordy, how to make it through until the summer again?

(Find the beauty in it… breathe deeply.)

I draw so much from the sun – the feel of it on my skin, warm wind on my legs, and feet on hot rocks. The trickles of sweat finding their paths down my body.

Now here comes the confines of clothing, fingers I can’t feel, toes that vanish for entire days.

I feel the twilight rather than see it, coming earlier and earlier. All I want to do is sleep. For months.

(I think I know bears.)

Of course when I have made it through the dimming of the day (a song I know) then when the night comes it is like any other, except with blankets. And I do like the coziness of my apartment, better at warming up than cooling down.

And I love the lightening flashing all about me, the thunder like trucks crashing over-head. The wet that comes through on the air between the dust particles. The incredible sunsets.

It really rained today, the next season arriving, the next set of opportunities.
Curl in, honor promises made, introspect.
Cry more.
Feel more.
Dream and vision.

Less doing more being, maybe.

Why do they call it fall? I know, because the leaves fall, but what about people, the Summer people I mean? (For the Winter people it is a quite different time I am sure.)

Is it because we fall to earth after the flying in the summer sun? We nestle into the earth, the womb, and lie dormant.

At least that is what we want to do but we don’t, we cant. (After all we are not bears.)

There is much to do but it is all to do with surviving. Less playing. Even when you go snowskiing (I don’t do it) it is somehow bound up with clothing all over and gloves and boots, shielding you from the weather, not opening to it like a flower. It is about avoiding hypothermia, staying hydrated (you don’t know you are sweating), protecting your eyes and face from the sun glare and frost…. and staying upright against all odds (which are short, at least in my experience!)

(The same hill in the summer? take it all off and run on the earth. Yes, carry water and wear a hat and remember the sunscreen but oh glorious, the freedom of movement!)

In winter the saving grace is to find the hot spring which in the summer can be just a bit Too hot. Find that one and lie in it – skin in soft water, a little mud or gravel under my bottom, and only my face from the chin up and ears forward, peeping out.  Luxuriating in – well, the womb, that warm, wet place separating and protecting my body lying free in the liquid, from the cold, hard world.

This morning though, immediately after the dark of the rain, there was thin strip of blue that grew longer and wider until- yes, blue sky! I took the opening and advanced.

My rubber boots waited outside the door where I had simply abandoned them last spring. I shook them sternly hoping to dislodge any summer spiders, dragged them on and, pulling on an extra long-sleeved flannel shirt over the T, went out to the horses. The yards looked like they had looked in the middle of last December. Wet, thick, red mud and little balls of pooh floating on surprised puddles.

However everything was so clean, and the sharpness of all the smells (hay, horses, earth, trees, the creek, but not, oddly enough, the manure,) set free by the moisture, was intoxicating.

Later today I went out the storage unit and hunted about for the waterproof coats and jackets, after waiting in the car for a particularly serious deluge to slow down enough to insert the key and roll up the door without drowning myself. The day will come when barely-there summer clothes will go into the place where the coats were.

Drove back in a 6mile carwash.

This evening, the horses in the wild wind and rain, lit in the darkening skies by sharp wrinkles of lightning and assaulted by those ten-ton trucks crashing above, were suddenly new creatures. From the docile animals of polite interest waiting patiently by their feeder bins for the food they had become skipping, kicking, bouncing, rounded balls of muscle and legs. Their heads tucked in, trying to keep their tails to the wind and rain, they skittered on the mud from the shelters to the fence where the blue bins filled with water as I struggled with hay against the gale.

Carrying the bins crammed with now damp sticking alfalfa to the shelters, the hood of the most effective rain coat blown half over my face, I was uncomfortably aware of jumpy, large beasts just out of sight around me! One refused to go into his shelter and so I lugged the bin back to the fence. He resolutely bent his head into it, his ears back against the bits of rain blowing onto his head. Others stood in little shelters next to yard mates by whom they’d usually be no closer than 50 feet at feeding time!

They will adjust to this as soon as the first onslaught of winter is over and their coats catch up to the sudden turn of weather events. They will stand patiently again, albeit their rumps toward the prevailing weather.

Of course I know we will have more sunny days and even heat before it really arrives. But the screw is turning and the days are shorter. This is nature’s way of reminding us that nothing is ever the same for long and we mere human mortals have no choice but to adjust, like the horses do.

So, I will adjust – drink hot tea more often, wrap up in large sweaters and pull on socks to sit at the computer. I will make excursions to hot springs, to let my body be clear and free in nature, just not in the sun, but in the natural hot water that comes up from below.

I will take those (maybe daily) runs more easily, rather than squeezing them into the times between work and dark and when it is not too hot – at 5am and sometimes 7pm! (My long running pants are waiting for me, although for a while I can get by with shorts and a long sleeved top.) After the initial gasp of cold and baptism of water at the beginning of the run, it is pretty darned exhilarating!

It really did rain today. Living in the desert and blessed by many consecutive days of hot and dry it is a bit of a shock.  However, the beauty of the new season will assert itself and the opportunity it gives me for moving through the land and myself differently will be appreciated. But tonight I remember summer, and sigh with nostalgia for the one just over and the many before that.

And now, to put the kettle on.

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