The rain has come.
It has been dry, hot and dry. I can remember very little space between the last snowfall, almost a blizzard, and long days of what Ireland would see as amazing weather. Temperatures hit 26 degrees on a couple of occasions. I call it hot, but the locals see it as warm. A fire ban has been enforced in many municipalities in Southern Alberta including ours. Twice last week I arrived back form a run with a scorched throat that it took hours to soothe. The farmers sat waiting for the frost to go, then suddenly it was all go. Spring had arrived they proclaimed, and out they went in their massive sprayers and seeders with tyres so tall a man can stand inside it. Spring they said, but to me those weeks were better than most Irish summers, and just as long.
Kurtis and I went camping last weekend. My mother told us to settle ourselves for a few more weeks, until I explained the temperatures. Although Friday night was cold on my nose, Saturday brought high temperatures. Around us, pockets of snow disappeared during our stay. In the mornings, we watched the sun poke itself above the peaks and begin to rise in the small sky of our mountains. It took time for it to warm us, but it did, and I have the red on my arms still to prove it. The mosquitos were there too. We were cautious; it was bear season, and sure enough we spotted 3, thankfully in our truck, on our way home. They were beautiful and I was buzzed form seeing them, if only for a moment. I am happy for them to stay in their world and me in mine, and never the two shall meet. It is safer that way.
It looked like rain on Tuesday but the loaded clouds passed us by somehow. I waited but it did not come. Today though, as I drove home, there was promise in the air. I smelled it, the deep scent of wet grass, a smell I was probably so accustomed to in Ireland that I rarely knew anything else. I was told it would pass us by again but I hoped. I was told to turn on the sprinklers for our newly seeded garden. I held off, but eventually I relented, disappointed.
Then I heard it. The slow patter in the distance; rain hitting our garage roof. I stepped outside under our porch and the land was wet and the sky was dark. I breathed in the moist, cool air and stepped into the thick droplets for a moment. Back inside, the temperature has now dropped and I close the windows. I keep the door open, just to listen to it falling on the back porch and allow the scent to drift in. The crops and vegetables and new flowers need it, our parched soil needs it, and the Irish in me needs it.