Well, not really flooding. But the heavy rains which always mark the beginning of Fall in North Texas finally began falling last night — our Autumn Monsoons, as my friends and I jokingly call them. While the temperatures have been in the low 70s and look to remain so for a couple more weeks, the downpours over the last day — complete with the occasional terrifying microburst — tell me that, at long last, Summer is over. (Never mind that much of the rest of the country has already had frost and cooler temperatures. Fall takes its time coming to the Lone Star State.)
Driving home from a coffee date with a friend this evening, in the soft grey light that only appears when it rains in late October and early November in Texas, I could only think of how grateful I am that the long, hot summer — though not as hot as many I’ve lived through since moving to Texas over 20 years ago — was finally over. We might have one or two warm days, but we are headed toward the darker, cooler season, finally.
And it struck me how appropriate it is that our Autumn Monsoons should strike right before Election Day. How the torrents of water from the sky, washing clean every surface and gurgling down the gutters and storm drains, were here to sluice away so much of the dust and decay and detritus of the Summer. And how this rain, coming seemingly so suddenly out of the wide Texas sky each year at this time, always seems like a type of spiritual cleansing to me. It always arrives around Samhain, when we release all that which we don’t want to carry into the next cycle of the Wheel of the Year, and when it comes it seems to scour the world clean on a physical and energetic level. And I found myself praying that this cleansing rain, this sacred downpour, can help to cleanse my nation. That we can see the ugliness of the campaign swirl down the storm drains and be carried out to the Trinity River and down to the Gulf of Mexico. That the fresh, cool droplets can be a balm to the open sores of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and garden variety hate that have burst and festered over this political cycle.
I have held so much fear over this cycle, something unusual for me as an activist — I tend to be more of the “point me towards the problem so I can kick its ass” variety. But I have been afraid, since the rise of Trump, of what would happen to my country come November 9. I would be lying if I said that I don’t approach tomorrow and the following days with some trepidation. So much is at stake.
But driving home tonight, with the Texas rain washing up under my tires, I felt what was unmistakably a glimmer of hope.
Wash it clean, Mother Nature, wash it clean.