After a rain, especially a long awaited, badly needed rain, it’s fun to drive out and see the rivers. One of the best places nearby for the purpose, in my opinion, is the crossing on the San Saba near Brady. It’s really a beautiful spot, even with the road near it. There is a sense about the crossing that many things happened there. It’s a place where the rock is formed into flat sheets, making it easy to get right down to the river. It’s surrounded by a feeling of history that happened but was never recorded, as far as I know. Most of history is never recorded, but still there all the same.
My husband and I went down to the crossing the other day to see what the rain did to the river. The cold front was just coming in, and you could feel the sense of change in the wind and light. We waited a long time for this rain. Summer just forgot how to rain, almost forgot how to make a cloud at all. The long waiting for the rain reminds me of how it is said that the latter rain is greater than the former. There is a reason this is true. The spring rains are lovely, but it’s the latter rain that makes joy complete. Maybe because of the hardness of the heat and drought, the rain seems so blessed, almost holy to me. A gift from God himself, it brings life in the desert, a drink in the fire, beauty out of ashes.
We stood down by the river, watching the muddy, churning water, listening to the sounds of the water pouring over the rocks, rising up from the trickle of itself a few weeks ago, to a full, life giving thunder. There were little purple flowers growing out of the rocks and pebbles along the shore, and we stood around talking about the flowers and the river for a while.
I don’t see the world in the same way a lot of modern materialists do. I don’t think the earth is just a thing for us to use. It is much more than that. It is a part of us, and we are a part of it. So it teaches us the old lessons of spiritual truth many have forgotten. The little patches of purple moss rose (thanks to my friend for identifying it), nearly buried in the rocky outcrop that leads down to the river, are glowing after the rain. Maybe someone long ago did a small deed of kindness here and the earth itself still reflects that. The little flowers suffered through the endless days of heat too, and here they are. The reward is great. So it is with life, suffering brings out the beauty in a thing.
Rain after a drought, the sounds of the water, are life and death and suffering embodied in the world around us. It’s a soul path. The whole experience was so moving to me, like a wonderful story, but it’s real life, told in the water and the flowers along the river, and in the forgotten history that still lingers in that spot. All the pain, the endless days of waiting and hoping, only to be disappointed, will one day be rewarded. Nothing will truly be lost. The reward would not be as great if the suffering and longing in between had not existed. It is true, like Solomon said, the end of a matter is better than its beginning.
Diane Adams is a local journalist whose columns appear Thursdays on BrownwoodNews.com