“Rain, rain, rain. Like a benediction from some vast inscrutable hand, long withheld, finally given. The blessed, wonderful rain.”
― Colleen McCullough
Last night I awoke from my customary late evening nap sitting on my living room sofa. I turned off the tv and the lights and made my way down the hall to my bedroom, just after midnight, as per usual. Entering, through the open window I heard what seemed the familiar sound of our resident scurry of squirrels racing up and down and around the large centenary pecan tree in our backyard, rustling the leaves on limbs and bark on the trunk as they tear through it forever chasing one another in play. And then it occurred to me that those little friends of mine, that daily visit me, even at times stop, come up to where I am and we chatter to one another as I sit on the back patio reading and writing and watching their antics (that always amuses me), don’t ever come out at night (at least that I’m aware of).
And then I realized what I was hearing. Something I’ve not seen or heard here for almost six months into our, now, fifth year of drought. Not the rare spittle of drops that lasts just a couple of minutes, just sufficient to make a mess of the accumulated dust on the car. It was actually raining! Not a hard, pelting rain, but more than enough to qualify it as rain, enough to hear it hitting the tree and then, I realized, the roof as well.
I lay in bed, putting off going back to sleep awhile so that I might enjoy the sound that I so love.
The siren call of Morpheus did battle and I was overcome. I awoke this morning to gray, overcasted skies with the smell of dust and the stench of smoke from the wildfires in our nearby forrested foothills (that has been ubiquitous all summer) gone, replaced with the intoxicating aroma of freshness.
And it was as if that rain washed away the malaise I’ve felt in its absence.
And for that, I offer a paean to that inscrutable hand that has long withheld and finally given, blessed, wonderful rain – and a prayer it come again.