The world breathed a satisfied sigh of relief today as a steady rain finally moved in overnight. We had an all-too-brief shower two days ago, but today the rain settled in and has stayed at least the full morning. It has been a delightful visit, like catching up with an old friend, as we have had hardly any rain in over a month.
Now, at mid-day, after hours of rainfall, it is interesting to note how the branches of the trees are all bowing gracefully under the weight of the raindrops that have accumulated on each leaf. When a raindrop hits the palm of an upturned hand you feel the impact of the splash, you feel the wetness, and you may even feel the coolness of the raindrop. But one thing that is too slight to note is the weight of the droplet. But there is no denying as I look at the backyard linden tree pictured above, that the tree feels the weight.
Two days ago, just before that shorter shower mentioned above, I mowed the grass. Afterward, I was coated from all of the soil dust that billowed up from the parched earth. The thirsty grass was beginning to take on that brown, brittle look and feel that usually is delayed in these parts to late July and early August – our hottest stretch of weather, and one where rainfall is feast or famine as gentle showers are rare and instead rain comes in torrents amidst lashing wind, and rumbles of thunder and streaking flashes of lightning. This “soaking in” rain of today is a kindness and blessing, especially for those whose very livelihoods are standing in corn, grain and soybean fields that checker our landscape in northeast Wisconsin.
Although it is cool I have the patio door open wide so I can better hear the patter of the rain. There is a soothing rhythm to rain that invites the busy person to sit down and listen for a while. As I hear it on the umbrella over the outside table, it reminds me of many days of camping as a youngster and with my own family when our children were children. Rain, while tent camping with children, means close quarters and the need for patient parenting and creative time passing. If the rain persisted beyond patience we decided the day was an invitation to explore. We found new campgrounds, new local historical museums, fresh lakes and rivers to explore further some sunnier day, and the best local place to buy an ice cream cone – all worthwhile discoveries.
One benefit to retirement is that it comes much easier to relax and enjoy rainy days. When I was working and just had a precious day or two on the weekend, it seemed that way to often rain decided to come visit on those particular days. Now, when the business of life can more easily wait until tomorrow, it comes more easily to “waste” a day in idle thoughts and perhaps a chapter or two of a favorite book, or a game of checkers. I pray that the rain falls easily on the meadows of your life, and that you have the time and inclination to enjoy it.