Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday Rain

I am writing this on my birthday, and it has been raining and raining and raining most of the day.  I could not have asked for a better birthday present.  In our neighborhood, we have not had an all day rain in about a year.  Seriously.  While other parts of Houston have rained to the point of flooding several times this year, our neighborhood has not had more than a quick rain shower now and again.  The windows and doors are open, so I’m listening to the rain pouring off the roof, and I am content.

Fall has always been my favorite season, because fresher cooler air puts me in a good mood and gives me energy.  I welcome cool breezes after the long hot season, and I really enjoy seeing the leaves bursting with color if we’ve had enough rain that year.  I like to hear the crunch fallen leaves make when you walk on them, and I enjoy sunny days that are less humid.  Even though the days get shorter, in my opinion, the better weather makes up for that.

Here’s hoping the fall will bring us more rain; even with today’s drenching, we are still in a rain deficit.  Recently, I was talking with my friend Sylvia about how much the climate of Houston has changed since we were children.  We lived in a rainy city growing up, but now we don’t.  That is more than enough proof for me that global warming has caused climate change.  I keep hoping that we have seen all the change we will get, but I also know that predictions say we may get even less rain for the next decade.  Instead of the Bayou City, we may be a city of dry ditches.  I remember seeing green everywhere in this city; now everything is brown.  The occasional green patch or flowering field is an attention getter.  When my husband waters the lawn, birds come over from the barely trickling bayou to get wet.  If the drought continues, my children will know this city in a different way than I did.  Hopefully, they will learn to appreciate the rain, whether it is abundant or rare.

October is also a month of remembering for me.  I have miscarried two babies, and they both would have been born this month if they had survived.  They would have been five and four this year; I share the birthday greetings I have received and today’s gift of rain with them.  I blow my birthday candles and eat chocolate cake with them in mind.  My maternal grandfather’s birthday was also this month.  I have been thinking about my grandparents often lately, perhaps because I have been thinking of generational turnover: my parents and in-laws are reaching the advanced years, my husband and I are middle aged (our friends, too), and my children are no longer babies.  I see and feel new signs of time passing in others and myself every day; I don’t need a birthday to remind me that I am getting older!  Age also brings many forms of wisdom, and I look forward to being wiser.

In my wisdom, I have decided to put in a fall garden after all, but have not yet had the time to do it.  I may try some cooler weather veggies, like more spinach, cilantro, carrots, onions, maybe kale or swiss chard, possibly potatoes.  Since I have never planted this late before, I may need to rely on your gardening wisdom.  Any suggestions?

Reminder: I will be participating in a reading for the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum this Friday, October 14, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. CDT live inworld for the museum’s Second Life virtual environment.  More details on my Upcoming Events page.  I just completed the sound check for this event, and I’m excited about reading in a new venue.

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