The last post focused on San Francisco Bay, where my best friend in high school and I used to windsurf anytime we got the chance. Our spots were: Redwood Shores, Foster City, and Coyote Point, the last being in the open bay right beneath the jets as they made final approach to SFO.
On the less windy days, we typically chose to put in at Foster City, where there was a lagoon. If we were becalmed there, there was no worry of being sucked toward the Golden Gate by tides, and the vibe was a little warmer and a little beachier. Nonetheless, we took the absence of wind hard, and routinely dared God to send us a gust of wind that we could ride. Though we were both avowed atheists, in our personal insults hurled at the Creator of the Universe, we tasted something that I now know to have been a form of faith. “You’re not man enough to knock me off my board with a gust of wind, God” – that was typical of our pronouncements.
Now, 30 years later, I sit in a very dry place: Austin, Texas. Thankfully, I work on the river, and get to enjoy much of what I loved in the Bay Area way back when.
On the other hand, the dryness of the atmosphere here during droughts does start to eat at a person. Keeping one’s garden going during a drought is an even bigger project than usual, for one thing. Keeping one’s grass green, ditto.
Now, I have progressed in my quest for spirituality, I hope, a little tiny bit since those days of throwing insults toward Heaven, however tongue-in-cheek I thought I was being at the time. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t sometimes want to dare Great Spirit to send a few inches of rain my way. There is a yearning for rain in me, and in many, here in Central Texas.
I should know better by now. In the five years that my family and I have lived in this part of the country, there have been either drought or flood conditions just about every day, and sometimes both. The amazing proliferation of creek beds and riverbeds and cacti tell me that this is business as usual in these parts, all of which helps to explain a battle-weary look in the eyes of many of the people who grew up here.