In the desert mountains, the storms are fierce; lighting dances on the mountain front, tearing winds howl through the canyons.
But the rains of autumn also bring life-giving water to the soil, and the first frosts work it deeper into the ground, shifting it, covering the falling seeds, preparing it for new life to come.
And the sun, not so fierce as in the summer, shines again, a blessing of light and a promise of warmth even as the cold season approaches.
"V'hinei Adonai ohver . . . and, behold, Adonai passed by, and a strong wind rent the mountains; and broke in pieces the rock before Adonai, but Adonai was not in the wind.
And after the wind an earthquake, but Adonai was not in the earthquake; And after the earthquake, a fire, but Adonai was not in the fire.
And after the fire, kol ramamah dakach . . . a still, small voice.
And it was so . . . "
--Malchim Alef (I Kings: 11-12)
The Days of Awe, intense and powerful.
The Shofar's wild cry;
The deep and dark U'ntana Tokef;
The solemn confidence of the Avinu Malkeinu.
But the Presence of Life was vouchsafed already to me,
in the dawn-turned jeweled beads of the recent rain upon the ever-green pinyon pine needles.
In the moment of quiet; the soft ramamah sound; the last drops of last night's life-giving rain.