It was raining this morning when I woke up, the light, almost inaudible patter of drops hitting the windows and roof, creeping into my zone of awareness as I lay in bed contemplating starting my day.
The rain is oh-so welcome this morning, in the wake of a week-long heat wave that baked the city streets and melted our souls, reminding us yet again that we’re too cheap (or just too environmentally guilt-ridden) to install air conditioning.
To be fair, the heat mostly broke over the weekend and the air has cooled considerably since the unbearable never-ending outdoor-oven-like temperatures late into last week. But the rain dropped the temperature even more into the mid-teens and it was the first time in recent memory that I felt a bit of a shiver and chill when I opened the door to let the dog outside.
More important than my personal comfort, of course, is that the rain brings an area-wide break in the risk of fire. The provincial map on the Alberta Fire Bans website had turned from yellow caution to orange restriction and had begun changing to splotches of angry red prohibition against burning, lest the very real risk of forest fire turn into literal flames.
Each year it seems that entire communities burn to the ground because the rain is a few days late in arriving to quench the tinder-like deadfall.
Never mind that in a few days I am about to go camping and as we plan our oh-so-important campfire menu we were seriously wondering if our trip would be a campstove adventure rather than an open flame cast iron cooking frenzy. That would have been a personal disappointment.
Almost always the rain means cool, wet and fresh but this week it also means campfires and cast iron.
And it is raining this morning.