The horse's pasture to the East...

Friday, February 24, 2017


I don't know what it was about this video, but it made me cry. The choir uses their bodies as instruments to bring rain to a song and makes it a celebration. That is exactly what rain is like for me, especially in the Spring. It's an all out DANCE of clouds, wind, water, lightening and thunder. I love the wildness of it, the energy and uncontrollable excitement that comes with the gift of water.

I used to scare the ever loving bejesus out of my Mom when I was a girl. I would sneak out of the house to walk in a thunderstorm. I knew it was dangerous, even saw lightening strike trees close to me, blowing branches off and smoking. And I loved it! I still go outside when the weather calls me. A few years ago, when we still had a landline and I had a cell phone, my husband and son called me, one on each line, and tried to talk me in to not going outside in a storm because there was a tornado on the horizon. I'm not very good at listening. I talked to them while the wind whipped around me, rain and hail hit me and the deck and I watched black tails fall out of the clouds. It was awesome!

I know walking in thunderstorms is a fool's errand. I do it anyway. Rain and wind always blow away the dust, the humidity and fear of drought. Sometimes trees do come down. I call that Mother Nature cleaning house. The trees that fall become homes for small animals and insects, hiding places for dens and a huge composting culture for years of wild flowers and grasses, herbs and wild berry patches. 

And I love the adrenalin rush that comes with walking away from safety and leaning in to a wind, feeling rain soak through my clothes and hearing thunder that makes my bones rattle inside my skin. I am so alive when an absolutely black sky flashes to white so bright it blinds me. And when the storm is over and the water drips from every twig and blade of grass, birds sing and the wind dies down it's like the perfect end to a symphony. 

Don't get me wrong. I have great respect for the power of water. It changes the landscape in moments when it breaks through the barriers of the river banks, flashes as a flood. I never drive or walk through water across a road. It's always deeper than you think and incredibly powerful. 

But the unadulterated and uncontrollable power of a thunderstorm in Kansas is part of who I am. I grew up with lightning, wind, rain and hail. I thrill to the electricity that runs cross my skin and makes my hair stand up as it comes rolling in from the horizon. Living in a more temperate climate would be nice for a while but I would probably seek out the enormous changes in temperature, humidity and wind in the middle of the continent pretty quickly. I need the noise, the cascades of water and power of a storm more than the placid, green country side of quiet England or the ever sunny shores of California. 

I worry more than I used to when a storm rolls in. My Lucky takes his herd to the top of the hill and they all stand there, butts to the wind, lightening and thunder rolling across the sky and rain on their backs. But I also get that urge too. I can't begin to understand what prompts him to take them out in to the middle of the highest hill but I know that I have the same impulse. I want to twirl and twirl, holding my hands up and yelling, " BRING IT ON! " 

I have a feeling that, with the extremes in weather we've had this Winter, Spring is going to rock! As a Mom I'd tell you to be safe. But as an artist in Kansas, I'd say, "DANCE with the wind!" 

It's coming. And I plan to run between the rain drops and be completely foolish. 

The flowers this year should be spectacular! Look for me on the top of the hill, in the rain...

I am, ever yours, Nancy, waiting and smiling

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