Monday evening, for the first time since December, we finally got a respectable measurement of rainfall. Of course, in rather typical springtime fashion, the rainfall was interspersed with hail and high winds.
Texas and the midwest are notorious for rough weather during the transition into spring and summer. The warm Gulf moisture streams up to the north and northeast, then collides with cool, dry air moving down from Canada. As the two come together, the real estate from Texas up to Ohio becomes the most active weather region in the U.S.
I love spring weather. I love the dark clouds towering up four, five, six miles or more. I love the beautiful displays of lightning and the deafening roar of the thunder that follows. I am amazed to watch towering oak trees bending to touch the earth as the winds from those tall storms races across the landscape. And I am exhilarated as I watch the trees, flowers and streams coming back to life when they finally get the rainfall they've been waiting for so long.
We also occasionally get spring fog, especially after one of the rain events like we had yesterday. I love the way the fog creeps across the landscape, wrapping around the hills, slipping down the streambeds and turning the light soft and slightly fuzzy. When I was very young, after too many viewings of "Brigadoon," I would walk off into the fog letting it swallow me as I moved further and further away from home.
Weather has always fascinated me. I would race out after heavy rainfalls to see if the creeks, rivers and other waterways were filled and running bank to bank. I loved watching flooded streams like Katemcy Creek, the San Saba River, the Colorado River and all the rest. It is wonderful to watch the power of water as it carries debris downstream, cuts through barriers and flows into every dry nook and cranny. I am also fully aware of the danger of floodwaters, and have watched streams destroy buildings, carry away livestock and cut through roadways. It is that power that makes nature so entrancing.
I have watched spring storms roll across the countryside, then gasped as funnel clouds dropped from the clouds and began their deadly dance through the hills and valleys. I remember standing on the porch at Uncle Bo and Aunt Bert McLemore's and watching a tornado over at The Katemcy Ranch. We could tell when the core of the storm hit trees or buildings, as the limbs, tin and boards would fly up into the air.
I've watched storms moving through Austin with lightning flashing over the Capitol dome and been in a car as the rock wall of a building on Lavaca Street got blown over onto vehicles, narrowly missing my own car. I've seen the floods that roared through downtown Austin, the lower Llano River, Marble Falls, and Pecan Bayou up in Brownwood.
There is beauty in the power of nature, especially when it is given the respect that it deserves. There is grandeur in the wind, the water, the light. There is a chance to see all that the natural world has to offer, if we slow down for just long enough to look around. There is no need to take any unnecessary risks; but, there is no reason not to enjoy the beauty and the power of God's creation.
It’s all just my opinion.