Tonight our cottonwood trees hold up the moon like a silver offering bowl in an indigo sky. I can feel autumn now, see it in the fat white clouds that coast across our skies of late, in the shadows that reach lengthening fingers across the earth. Our Jeffrey pine is casting its long needles on the lawn, the rabbit brush is blooming and in the high country, I've seen willow bushes turning yellow and aspen turning brown. It's not a good autumn. It's Nature throwing in the towel on a fourth year of drought and saying, "That's it, I'm done, let's get ready for winter."
The prayer of the West now is for a change of weather and the miracle of rain. Rain for the parched earth and stressed plants and trees, rain for the dry stream beds and shrinking lakes. Rain for the wildfires that burn and burn and burn beyond the ability of humans to do much more than fight defensive battles. I'm never in a hurry for summer to end, for my flowers to wither and the trees to go naked and lean. But I think I'm ready for a change. For weather that means something beyond the shrinking of the ability of our fields and woods and hills to support growing things.
This fall, this winter, let there be rain. Let there be snow in the high country and drifts on the passes and I'll shovel my driveway without complaint. Let it be so. Please. But until then, I'll pray for the days to pass slowly so I have time to count each blessing that comes.