There is nothing like the heady perfume of the creosote bush after it rains. Soft and woodsy, pervasive, it tickles the olfactory center of the brain in a way like nothing else does for me, a smell reminiscent of incense, bringing primal memories from the depths of ancient times up to the surface. It's almost as if there is magic in the scent.
This morning I woke to the patter of raindrops on my bedroom window. After the non-soon of this summer, rain is a joyful sound, something not to be missed. I jumped out of bed and looked out the back door to make sure I wasn't dreaming it. I wasn't. I could see the moisture on the edge of my patio, hear the water running down the gutters off the roof. Unfortunately, the shower didn't last very long. I can see patches of blue over the Catalina Mountains and am afraid that the clouds will clear before we get any more rain today.
It's amazing what a difference rain makes. I've been reminding myself to water the citrus trees in my yard, to try to coax the dark green lemons to grow bigger than toy-size and turn that lovely yellow that means they're ripe. Last year, despite adequate rain, I got one small lemon from that tree that I proudly squeezed into my ice tea glass. This year there are a dozen that I'm hoping will mature. While putting the hose on the ground to trickle the precious moisture to the roots, I've noticed small buds, closed tightly against the heat and dryness. Miraculously, after this morning's shower, I can see the lovely white blossoms opening up, daring to risk their lives now that the sun is hiding behind gray clouds and the rain has come.
Life patterns form early and stick with us even though circumstances change. Rainy Saturday mornings are permission to sit with a cup of coffee and a book, ignoring the urge to get dressed and get busy. As my job wound down and out of existence over the past month, I told myself there was nothing etched in stone about working Monday through Friday and resting on Saturday. But I find myself following the same patterns as I have throughout my life even when I don't have to. If it had rained on Monday, I still would have showered, dressed, and gotten myself to my computer for writing time as always. And because today is Saturday, I stayed in bed late and am still in my nightgown, sipping my second mug of coffee and not feeling at all guilty. I'm enjoying the aftermath of the rain, air conditioning off, door and window open, letting in the perfume of the creosote bush.