|The RED Umbrella, 5x7 painting, Cindy Morawski|
Rainy Days Don't Get Me Downby Cindy Morawski
After I moved to Texas from the rain capitol of the world--England, I was delighted with all that sunshine. The umbrella was not a necessary accessory when you left the house. The Lone Star State's average yearly rainfall compared to England was hardly on the Weather Channel's radar. I got accustomed to dry, sunny days quickly. It gave me more outdoor time to hike, bike, and garden. Driving was no big deal either. I'd even forget the location of my windshield wipers "on" switch in my car. Clear, dry streets were the equivalent of hitting the easy button for getting to and fro via my car. It all seemed good.
However, I've lived long enough in Texas now to have survived two big droughts. This past one over the last two years has cost the state big-time in terms of agriculture. Cattle and crops were part of the collateral damage. Homeowners everywhere have also turned to xeriscaping their yards. The cost of water and dealing with water rationing felt severe. Living in the suburbs with a large corner lot covered with trees and landscaping had been a personal challenge. I was reminded last year of our shortages every time I turned on the news and weather report. San Antonio's aquifer levels were dropping rapidly. The rationing of water required one to hand water those beloved green things or you'd lose them. Paul and I didn't want our yard to die. We chose to do our best and try to keep most of our yard alive. It seemed like a daily conflict. Man vs. Nature. Whew!
When the rain came down this month in May, I had to actually go outside to confirm it. I woke up to the sound of thunder and the flash of lightning in the middle of the night. I looked out the window. Yes, that looked like wet stuff on the deck. I then headed down the hall and out the front door. The water was running down our street like a river. I could hear it rushing through the rain gutters and off our home's rooftop. I stepped off the front stoop. I gazed upward and felt that cool rain splash on my face. This was some serious rain. We ended up with four inches. A rain cell stopped right over the Northwest part of San Antonio. Hurray! The next morning when I hopped out of bed, I peeked out the bedroom window. Our backyard trees were smiling in gratitude. I could hear them slurping up that extra water. The grass looked a zillion times greener. Not exactly Ireland, but a vast improvement. Three days later, it happened again. More rain. Not as much as the previous storm. But, it was a soaker. I have grown to LOVE rain. It's on my gratitude list. I won't ever look at the wet stuff the same again.
I created the painting, The RED Umbrella, to help celebrate May's rainfall. I also LOVE the way light reflects on wet pavement at night. I took a photo of my local Bandera Road while it was raining and then took some liberties when I took it to my painting studio. I relived the rainstorm while painting. RAINY days and Mondays don't get me down. Rainy days are just another reason to celebrate in San Antonio.
Hope you'll CELEBRATE with me this Saturday, May 18th. I'll be part of a Fine Art Show in the BoerneFest, located in downtown Boerne off the Main Plaza, from 10 to 5. Look for my white tent and Seasons ArtWork. Here's the link for more information. There's a whole weekend of fun activities, starting this Friday night, May 17th. www.bestofboernefest.com.