After the rain

The surreal palette wrought by drought, intensified by the afternoon’s downpour, glows luminous in the gloaming as I gaze up and down my street: my neighbor’s scorched lawn the hue of toasted wheat, bright and lustrous against the faded sage green leaves of the brittle lilac.

Cars rush past, many miles over the posted speed limit, hydroplaning through roadside ponds. The torrents came too fast even for the parched earth to guzzle. When they pass, and all is silent, raindrops patter softly as they slip from leaf to leaf in the mild breeze.

It has been weeks since it was last cool enough to enjoy an evening on the front porch. By tomorrow morning, every drop of life-giving elixir will be absorbed or evaporated, and the heat wave will once again torch us with relentless intensity.

Tonight, like the rain-starved landscape all around me, I drink in the tonic with gratitude.

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