Friday, July 08, 2016
The Rain Arrived
At the end of April, my country boy announced, "It's going to be a dry summer because we didn't get any April rains."
And the boy was right, as he so often is with his old-fashioned pearls of weather wisdom.
When the rain began, not as a shower but as a bona fide, visible drops, Steady Eddy rain, a shout went through the house.
Because we need it. If you want to eat, then food must grow. For food to grow, it needs moisture.
And I'm feeling particularly humbled by this much-needed, long-awaited rainfall because a severe drought across the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Djibouti) has left nearly twelve and a half million people in urgent need of food and water.
As I watered my flower gardens this week, and saw plants dying for lack of water, I made sure I felt grateful that even in a drought -- even in California, where it's been dry for five years -- NONE OF US STARVE TO DEATH because of the lack of rain. Our children don't suffer malnutrition. We still eat food that nourishes us. We still drink plenty of water. We still water our flowers and our clothes in clean, fresh water that gushes from taps as soon as we spin them on.
This is the first drought I've experienced (can I even call it a drought? really, it's just a lack of rain for three months) since moving to the East Coast nine years ago. Usually we're lamenting too much rain and how it's ruining the seeds we just planted.
So let's not have anyone -- particularly city folk who live with a metre square of lawn in front of their urban home and spend their weekends at the cottage on the shore -- complain about the rain this weekend.
I know there are festivals on tomorrow -- Oxford's Strawberry Festival and Read By The Sea in River John, just to name two -- but if a little bit of rain we desperately need spoils the day, we need an attitude check. We can't collect our clouds and precipitation and ship them to the Horn of Africa -- oh, wouldn't that be a wonderful thing, to send buckets of water to villages to pour on their gardens? -- so the one thing we can do is shut up and be grateful.