It seemed to be auspicious timing to get out of town on Friday morning and be offline for three days, and I allowed another visit to Wilbur to be something of a retreat, with ample opportunities for silence, for contemplation, reading and writing – and some scheduled meditation, all of which felt very welcome.
‘Lorsque la pluie tombait, j’aurais pu enfanter des mondes’
I thought of this quote from Proust as I sat in the outdoor plunge at Wilbur and the rain came down (I can’t find a link to it online, but I think my memory serves me well enough to have it right). There was a stillness with it, even as I watched the drops dipping and bouncing back off the surface, and the ripples that could not help but spread in perfect circles.
The weather on the drive up had prefigured the rest of the weekend. I felt glad to be able to get across to the north bay while the traffic was flowing and the roads were temporarily dry. Then there were squalls of rain, a series of rainbows, and on the flats around the 505 heading north, piled clouds of various laden colours, heavy downpours moving across the land. My usual route, up the 16 through Capay Valley had been closed, so I had to continue north and then cut through the line of hills on the 20. As I took the Bear Valley Road, conscious of having slid along a couple of times on my last visit, I drove very cautiously as rain lashed against the glass and the river surged below. Ten minutes after I arrived, there was blue sky above.
The way back was dry until I crossed into the east bay, and then there was a fierce deluge even when I could see clear skies and sunshine ahead. In the rear view mirror, another flat arc of a rainbow. I felt ready to see what exactly it was that I had missed.
Looming clouds heading north on the 505 on Friday.
The swollen creek reminded me of being at Tassajara in stormy winter weather.