In The Heat Of Late Afternoon …

In the heat of late afternoon, lightning streaks from a nearly cloudless sky to the top of the far mesa. At dusk, the whole south end of the valley blazes as the clouds turn incandescent with some distant strike. There is a constant congress here between the earth and the sky. This afternoon a thunderstorm crossed the valley. One moment the ground was dry, and the next there were torrents running down the hillsides and arroyos. A quarter-mile off I could see a downpour bouncing off the sage and the fine clay soil. I could see the rain approach, and then it hit, drenching me, and moved on. Ten  minutes later I was dry. The rain comes from heaven, and we are cleansed by it. Suddenly the meaning of baptism is clear to me: you can begin again, and we are saved every day.

— Gary Young from Even So: New and Selected Poems

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