The sky fills with water. Violet clouds streak down toward the mountains. The smell of rain thickens the air, then suddenly moves on. We watch blue break the clouds apart with something like despair.
Trucks of cattle roll through town, heading south to the stockyard. We talk of snowpack, grazing allotments, headgates. I feel greedy for water, like a real westerner, proud that I finally understand this precarious balance we keep.
I don't know when I've ever slept like this. It goes beyond the sleep of sunlicked skin and tired muscles. This sleep drives me from my body, wipes clean the slate of my mind, leaves me heavy and disoriented in the morning. I sleep with intensity, dropping through mattress and floorboards into vibrant colors, complex storylines, aware only of vast depths below like someone adrift on a still sea.
On my run - antelope tracks arch like lips in the dust of the trail. I can tell we are moving in the same direction. They veer to a low pocket of ground, a small depression that caught enough snowmelt to green the tough windblown grass that grows along the sagebrush.
When the sun hits a pivot's spray it looks like heaven. Lush alfalfa tangles in a blur of new green beneath the spray. All around the dryland fields are bleached nearly white.
I wake in the dark to the sound of water. At first I think I've left a sprinkler running, but I haven't. Rain.
The air is full of water.