An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of September 26, 2010
Issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort adjoining
Chichén Itzá Ruin in Yucatán, Mexico

DAWN RAIN

As the jog began Orion's familiar star-pattern twinkled overhead almost violently, but by the time I'd reached the highway already stars were fading as clouds moved in from the east. Rain hit just as I huffed past Mayalandia's horse stalls, where I ducked beneath a dense Bec tree hoping to avoid drenching my running shoes. If it hadn't been for the shoes, which already were falling apart, I'd have run in the rain, for the cold droplets felt good on my sweating skin.

In fact, that morning beneath the big Bec everything felt good. It felt good just standing in the darkness hearing rain move through the woods around me and listening as big water droplets cascaded into the Bec. It felt good breathing in air that just a few seconds before had been heavy and muggy but now was saturated with chill, misty freshness, and charged with that electric tension that all rains carry when they first come upon you.

The horses whinnied through the darkness and I whinnied back letting them know who it was, and the rain carried their horsey odor over to me, and the odors of wet hay and manure, and mud. I liked thinking of the horses there in their thatch-roofed stalls calling to me, maybe twitching their ears as they smelled me.

Then all of a sudden a gust of wind burst out of nowhere, swirling the rain in under the tree and shaking the Bec's stored-up droplets onto me. There went my dry shoes, so now nothing kept me from running in the rain, splashing and listening to my breath, and to the wind and the rain in the woods beside me, as dawn's first light started washing the sky.

Times like this, you feel alive, feel that maybe it's right that all we're supposed to do as humans is just live our lives moment by moment, paying close attention to all the details, until it's over. Facebook Icon.