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To Welcome the Rain

Today is hot and humid, at least for this land. Glossy grackles and indigo piñon jays crowd feeder and birdbath, seeking sustenance and cooling hydration in equal measure.

And for once, there is actually a credible threat of rain in the forecast.

We got a sprinkling late yesterday, not really enough even to wear the label “shower.” Still, it was more than we expected of the day, and we are grateful for it. Today, though, like the remainder of this week and all of the next, the experts project a far greater chance of something more measurable.

It appears that monsoon season is finally actualized.

The gifts of the spirits are known to be double-edged this time of year: In a place of great physical extremes and elemental powers, that which gives life can just as easily take it. The same rains that sustain Mother Earth, flowing through her arteries like lifeblood and coaxing the crops into life, are the same ones that rush down canyons in a torrent, boiling over the river’s edge, flooding road and path and track alike, heedless, unperturbed and unstopped by any obstacle in their way. Every year in this corner of Indian Country, there are a few deaths of those who fail to understand this land and respect its power, who are arrogant enough to think that they can stand against the elements untouched.

And as I write, our Internet service has gone out yet again. This, it should be understood, is not one of the vagaries of living in this harsh land, but rather, one of living in a place where the local providers feel no compulsion to maintain proper service (or, indeed, any service at all too much of the time). It has nothing to do with climate or weather, only with uncaring providers with the luxury of a captive audience.

But also as I write, the rain has come: thundering down along the arc of the lightning, cascading from the bases of lazuli clouds gone violet black. It has indeed turned out to be a perfect day for today’s work, one whose surface features its own lazuli clouds and cascading torrents, and whose name is, aptly enough, Rain. From its description in the Accessories Gallery here on the site:

Rain Barrette

In the desert, rain is the gift of life. In the midst of near-unprecedented drought, Wings honors the birth of the monsoon season with his latest barrette, formed of medium-gauge sterling silver in a gentle arc, hand-milled in a dot-and-dash pattern that evokes the vertical fall of the heavy summer rain. In the center, a single large raindrop of deep cobalt blue lapis lazuli sits in a handmade bezel elevated above the barrette’s surface by means of a tiny hand-made silver post. At either end, hand-drilled holes hold the pick, a length of sterling silver half-round wire meticulously stamped in an alternating pattern representing cascading water, anchored at one end by a small high-domed oval lapis cabochon so deeply hued as to appear violet, and held securely by a saw-toothed bezel. The barrette is 3-5/16″ long by 1-3/4″ high; the large teardrop lapis cabochon is 1-1/16″ long by 3/8″ across at the widest point; the pick is 3-7/8″ long by 3/16″ across (save at the bezel); the small oval lapis cabochon is 3/8″ long by 1/4″ across at the widest point (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; lapis lazuli
$850 + shipping, handling, and insurance

At this season, the rain is a fickle thing, landing here but not there, despite “here” and “there” being inches away from each other. In this instance, it landed squarely on our small bit of earth, soaking the ground thoroughly before moving southeastward at a rapid clip.

If the clouds are any indictor, though, there might be more on the horizon before this day is out. Earlier today, we prayed for its arrival. Whether heavy or light, intermittent or consistent, it is our task and our blessing to welcome the rain.

Now, if only we could welcome our fickle Internet service back into operation so easily.

~ Aji











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