The fourth of July weekend found us in Suncadia. Staying in a house just off the green of the twelfth hole. The first time I had ever stayed on any golf course. The back patio looked directly onto the twelfth green. Providing the ability to watch players come through, playing the hole. The gas fireplace sat in the middle of the patio. Six chairs surrounded the elevated circle of logs. Turn on the gas, give it a light, and you would be enjoying the comforts of a camp fire. But, not on the second evening of our stay. The day had been splashed with glorious sunshine. Temperatures reaching into the lower eighties. A welcome sight on the heels of a spring full of cold weather. Much of Saturday was spent lounging in the sunshine. My curiosity focused on the golfers. As each group played the twelfth hole, just beyond the backyard of our rented home. There was an enjoyment in watching them that I didn’t know existed. The pin placement for that Saturday was within steps of the back of the green. Meaning shots would require a firm strike to reach the rear portion of the putting surface. Most approaches were rolling up short of the pin. But, some throughout the day were getting closer than the majority of others. Providing the variety needed to assess whether someone hit a good shot. As the day wore on, we debated going to play some golf of our own. Continually checking the weather for some guidance.
The forecast showed rain during the afternoon and into evening. However, much of the day was spent under sparkling blue skies. We wondered if the sun would last or things would be changing. Looking out from the back porch, there were mountains to see in all directions of view. Sitting around while we debated the idea of playing golf that afternoon. We could see some pretty dark clouds coming over the mountains. Most likely on their way for the area above where we sat in the sunshine. As time, crept past there could be lighter skies seen behind the darkening clouds. Having made the drive up to Suncadia for rounds of golf on many different occasions. I had experienced first-hand, the weather moving through the area quickly. Much quicker than I have seen in the Seattle area. Causing the conclusion that whatever was in those dark clouds, might just pass right overhead. Leaving no more than a gentle five-minute shower. Before giving way to a return of the sun for the rest of the evening. The groups kept moving through the twelfth hole. The sun continuing to creep past the slowly growing cloud cover. We were keeping our chairs on the back porch. Watching the cloud progression and enjoying the play on and around the green. I was tempted to ignore the darkening skies and push for golf. While, still content watching the shots from my deck chair.
The faint roar of thunder made brought about the decision. The sound feeling like it was coming from miles away. Giving justification to the dark clouds drifting across the skies. The sound taking the debate right out of our heads. I sat back in my seat and took in the view more contently. Watching the golf course had been mesmerizing since we arrived. Beginning with the view of the green being mowed, from the kitchen, on the morning of that first day. It was a picture I would look forward to for the remainder of the stay. The groups of golfers continued moving past in spite of the cautionary sounds from mother nature. Coming through at an elevated pace. As they tried to finish the final six holes before the weather took hold. It turned out, there would be plenty of reason to speed up their shots. The first drops of rain arrived, not long after the faint roll of thunder. As the rain increased in intensity. The groups of golfers became more and more scarce. The thunder kept rolling in the hills and lightning began to pop. As the rain intensified, the golfers stopped. All to be seen outside the window, was the puddling taking shape on the back patio. The rain pelted the surfaces and justified the decision to stay. Even without golf, it turned out to be an enjoyable afternoon. Being nestled in the cascade mountains with the opportunity to watch a storm come in and move on, after spending the day watching golf being played just beyond the backyard. The storm turned out to not last long. With the aftermath being something else not really having been experienced before that day.
It was long after the rain had come to a merciful conclusion. The clouds above us began to break. Leaving the evening to sun drench us, like much of the day. I find it challenging to predict the length of the storm. Writing this a couple weeks after returning from our weekend. But, the time strikes me as not long. Maybe, the harshness of the weather that afternoon lasted an hour or two. Nothing like the Seattle suburb, I call home. Where the kind of rain we saw can last hours, sometimes a day or two. The difference is, we usually don’t get the sunshine coming in behind the downpour. There was a feeling of peace and stillness accompanying the sun that evening. Following the storm, we didn’t see another golfer come through the twelfth. Even with plenty of light remaining for the day. The rest of my evening was spent watching the peaceful scene. The sun glistening off the still drenched blades of grass. Doing its best too dry the ground before making way for the moon. The air remained damp with a little crisp of an edge. So, we settled into dinner around the table in the kitchen. It wasn’t long after finishing my meal. I was drawn back outside to the peaceful scenery. Not really felt in the hustle and bustle of home, outside the Seattle area. I wanted to soak up every ounce of the place possible. There was something about the mountain air in the aftermath of that storm. The stillness brought about too much peace for me to pass up.
We made the most positive choice that afternoon. Fighting the temptation to head out onto the course and play golf. Watching the clouds move over the mountains in the distance. The sight of those dark clouds kept us in our seats. Part of me wondered if those clouds in view would simply break. Just hanging over the hills to cause a moment pause. Sitting on the back porch and watching the golfers play, did cause the itch to go for it. Though, I might have been flying solo under those dark clouds. When the thunder was heard and the rain began. Taking the opportunity to relax and watch the golfers paid off. It was the kind of weather I was thankful to have avoided. Had I been out there playing; it would have ruined the afternoon. Leaving me soaked to the bone and maybe without the desire to play again. There would still be a couple more days with the opportunity to play golf. The weather wasn’t looking so good as the weekend progressed. But, there looked to be an opening the following day to get out. The sun coming out following the storm left me hopeful. The next day would find us motivated to take on the challenge. Until then, all was quiet around the twelfth green of Rope Rider. The fire pit was lit and I sat to watch the sprinklers ignite at nine o’clock on the dot. Not long after ground was adequately quenched of its thirst. The sun disappeared behind the mountain and the light of the flames took hold.