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In the Rain

Everyday, rain. It falls in thunderstorms, showers, drizzle. It comes in bands, waves, curtains, cloudbursts. Everywhere, fields of unmowed hay, grasses bent under the weight of seed and ceaseless water. The last load of laundry stayed on the line for a week or more; twice it was almost dry and I thought to bring it inside, but became distracted by matters more pressing. And so it got rained on again.

Yesterday I rode my bicycle in a steady rain, not a band or wave or curtain or cloudburst, but an entire sky full, low and heavy and seemingly without end. Yet it was warm and I felt light-hearted and a little silly as I licked road grit off my lips and spit it back to where it came from, eyes half-lidded against the sting of the pelting drops.

In a nearby town, I pedaled past a church lunch; the door was open and I could see that the church was full and I could smell the food, and it smelled just like church lunch should. Then home and into the pond, wet on top of wet, the water strangely warm the way it always is when I swim in the rain.

 

 

18 thoughts on “In the Rain”

    1. Oh, you, mid-western gal! (I’m one, don’t you know?!) Don’t you know about the West? Or, silly wabbit, summer rain is for easterners! You know they say this out here in the West: he who controls the water controls the West. We never get rain out here in the summer. So god bless the folks who suffer wildfires! I hope AZ got as much rain as CA this past winter. Our rivers are overflowing with snow melt and life’s good.

      1. Oh, Renee, ❤ … How can one live without summer rain? Do you get monsoons in Jul-Aug in California?
        We read Moody's book "Little Britches", and in it, he describes the water wars of 1906 in Colorado, where ranchers were shooting each other and bringing each other to court over water. Not much has changed. AZ and CA still in long fights over water… I saw some massive farms being moved from CA to AZ and Arizonians not so happy about that.
        Although this past winter has been wetter (wettest in 7 yrs in AZ, and wettest in 122 yrs in CA?), around here all the groundwater is still very much in deficit, much more is drawn than replenished.
        We are having fire few miles from the house, it was raining ash, and smoke all week, the Goodwin fire that burnt over 25,000 acres so far. About 20 wildfires burning in AZ, massive acreage. I noticed on inciweb as I was looking there were more wildfires in FL than CA, so you guys are doing well this year. No campfires allowed here, no guns, smoking, chainsaws, etc. Extreme fire conditions. No rain since March.
        Sun is addictive, but I see rain in my dreams.

      2. Groundwater still in deficit here, too. Talk of another dam and a lot more groundwater catch basins aka percolation ponds since we get the rain in winter and tremendous amount runs off and goes to rivers, to bay, to ocean (which is good and proper, too). As a matter of fact we’re putting in our own percolation pond. We got a lake in the horse pastures this past winter and said why not do something more productive than letting it flood the whole durn place! I see rain in my dreams. too!

      1. Me, three. We did just that last week. Amazing how you go from warm to cold and back again when swimming in a summer rain. Pretty much doing anything is great in the rain including nothing at all. 🙂

  1. Another prompt from Ben that sparked a long forgotten ritual, the saturday ham and bean supper. Ham and bean suppers that rural churches held every Saturday night as a fund raiser were very common when I was a kid. Anywhere you went in northern New England you were likely to find yourself not very far from one of those dinners that offered a variety of good, simple, food for just a couple of bucks per person. I remember the thing that I liked the best were the home-made pies for dessert. Thanks for reminding me of yet another almost forgotten memory of my youth.

    1. You got me thinking, too. I remember Saturday Pancake breakfasts. Don’t know who put them on. We kids thought the little sausages drenched in maple syrup and served up by the friendly old men was bliss!

  2. Went for a bike ride too after Saturday’s storm – not quite as damaging as Irene in our part of the state, but the worst since and wiping out our small town 4th of July (though not the chicken barbecue and creamed corn, that smelled just as the firemen’s creamed corn should, even through curtains of rain and flooded hay fields stinking of fish) – following steep dirt roads laced along mountain streams, always keeping the fighting country folk guessing where they will jump culverts and banks next, laying a new bed where there should have been a road. At times it felt like my bike tires teetered on the edge of the world in miniature, as I tried to get a closer look at the guts of the road spewing into new caverns, awed by the strength of water refusing to stay caged. Then too swam, only now in the heat with the slightly fermenting smell of round bales swirling in my insatiable nostrils, jumped off the tractor bridge into the gritty, churning brown pool of an abandoned beaver dam older than me. Felt the cold of a hundred mountain streams rushing at me and sucking out my breath, washing away the useless thoughts, the splattering of the road on my back, the dirt of my life, a baptism as pure and holy and forgiving as I know. And then the church bell clanged the hour from her white steeple and ushered me home.

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