Rain dance

Yesterday's fog heralded today's storm ...

Yesterday's fog heralded today's storm ...

It’s raining, it’s pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and
bumped his head
And couldn’t get up
in the morning.

Water is falling from the gray sky here in the Sierra mountains of Northern California. I’m not an old man, I didn’t bump my head, and I got up this morning, but oh, I’m creaky. Someone find my oil can!

After three years of drought, the world around me is dry, dry, dry. But now the rain is here. It’s right on schedule. I couldn’t be happier.

The damp, negative-ion-charged air is refreshing. The wind that came with the storm is belling and jingling the wind chimes on the eaves. Rain spatters the windows, thrums on the roof. I can almost hear the earth sighing with relief.

While the shift in air pressure the change in the weather brought with it has made me twinge and ache, I don’t mind. That happens regardless of the weather, and I’ll tell you a little secret. I love rain. I love storms. Yesterday my daughter, her fiance and I covered the stacked firewood, purchased in June, with tarps to keep it dry. Matt filled the wood-ring next to the woodstove with seasoned, spicy-smelling almond-wood. And as soon as I get up enough gumption to dump last year’s ash-can and clean the old ash out of the stove (a chore I forgot all about!), I’ll start the first fire of the season. There’s something incredibly comforting about a crackling fire in the hearth. The warmth is like no other. The scent conjures images of hats and mittens, cold noses and hot cocoa.

I like wrapping my achy fingers around a cup of cocoa. It feels wonderful. I hope that this first, early storm of the season isn’t the last. Let it rain. Let it snow when the time comes. Let this be the fall and winter that finally breaks the long drought. Oh, I’m ready. I have my rice-and-lavender-filled hot packs. I have my rheuma-gloves. I have thick, warm socks. And through my window, open a crack to let in the fresh, rain-charged air, I can hear the tall pines all around the house whispering in the wind. If I close my eyes, I can hear the soft roar of the ocean surf in their voices.

Oh, yes. Let it rain.

Photo copyright Leslie Vandever 2009.

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4 responses to “Rain dance

  1. Absolutely beautiful…I usually just bookmark great things that I come across on the internet, but I think this will require me to turn on my printer!

    I have always been a huge fan of winter and the cold weather most of my life…up until my RA worsened a few years ago. Now I find myself dreading this past of the year. I think that I will have to rethink these feelings.

    Your words are always poetic; today they were even more so.

  2. Thank you for the nice words, Guy. Winter can be tough for some people with RA; it’s the pressure changes that bother me, not the dampness or cold as long as I dress for it. I think dealing with it can truly be a matter of attitude in spite of stiffness and pain. You’re an inspiration in creative, positive thinking, so I believe you’ll nail this perception just like you have so many others. Oh — thanks for the Facebook link, too!

  3. I was struggling last night with burning hands and elbows while doing homework and grading papers.
    The pain is back again every time a new storm rolls in but I love a good storm. Here the air is getting colder and you can smell it, apples, butternut squash,acorn squash,tomatoes, last of the basil, and some beets are in baskets as I walk in the house after driving home past all of the colors of fall. Hunting season starts this week end and I will do my best to get out with my bow and arrow and try to sit still enough to see something.
    Fall is such a special season in upstate New York and I am going to make the most of it in spite of the RA. Very inspiring post Wren, always good to read your blog.

  4. I love cold weather, and wrapping my stiff, aching fingers around a cup of something hot feels just wonderful on a grey day.

    My family has just started up the wood stove for the year – I can’t wait for lots of lazy hours reading in front of it.