I had just bent down to connect a hose to our "irrigation system" on the raspberries when the first large raindrop hit my back. I'd been waiting all afternoon, watching the local radar, wondering if it would rain. Finally giving up, I put on my shoes (which greatly excited the dogs) and made my way out to the back fence. Then it rained.
So many of my associations with rain are negative:
- memories of golf outings and weekend plans cancelled,
- camping and canoeing in Canada amidst 11 straight days of rain
- anxious hours at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway looking to the west and hoping that "it's clear in Terre Haute".
There are memories of the times that rain came in too great a quantity, or when we were unprepared:
- transporting a king-sized mattress through a thunderstorm in Denver,
- wading through stormwater on the flat roof in Mount Vernon, trying to find the single drain
- our camping vacation in 1991 where we were even rained out in the Utah desert
- the entire summer of 1993 in Nebraska
My view of rain began to change after meeting Sally, who grew up in arid western Colorado. When our life journey brought us to the Plains and back to the West, I began to understand for the first time the experience of seeing a far away rain storm, and wishing, hoping, and praying that it might come our way. My experience of frequent sunburns as a child and of basal cell carcinomas as an adult has made me leery of the sun's power, and more welcoming of the rain.
I'm not saying I ran out and danced in last evening's storm, as I might have done were we in the grips of a drought. I simply stood on the front porch and breathed in the freshness, giving thanks for the life-giving moisture. I thought for just a moment that I could hear the grass and the raspberries singing.