Its Friday, I’ve completed another work week. I have the weekend before me, and I did have lots of plans for that time. Only now of course it is raining. That means no yard work, not unless it decides to stop raining (and it isn’t supposed to do that), or unless I don’t mind getting wet. Even if it does stop raining the leaves that I haven’t raked all fall and winter will not be mulched by the mower as I had hoped. If I do anything, it will be in the flower garden area and with a rake not the mower. I really do want to get started on that if only Ma Nature would cooperate a bit here.
But, since its raining, and its dark (at this writing it is 8:13pm) I won’t be doing any work outside, but I can share some rain stories from here on the Dirt Road..aka the Mud Run during times like this.
I love summer showers, not so much thunderstorms but those sudden rain storms that appear, dropping rain here but not there, fast and furious or slow and easy. I’ve driven down the roadways to run in and out of rain or watched it fall on one side of the road and not the other. I’ve even seen the white lines of the road be the stopping point as the rain fall stops right on the line going no farther.
As a young person growing up here I remember knowing when the rain was coming. The sky could be this beautiful, crystal clear blue, not a cloud anywhere but the trees gave warning of what was coming. Looking at the trees the area would be darker, the colors of the leaves more intense as they turned over. The air would grow quieter as all the woodland critters took refuge from what was coming. Soon, you could hear it approaching, the rain falling on the leaves on the trees and the dead leaves under them. You had two choices, take shelter, or enjoy the cooling off the rain would bring from the heat of the summer sun.
Our Grandfather was a collector. He would bring home some of the most interesting, useable stuff. His yard was never cluttered or trashed, there was a place for everything, but he always allowed us to make use of the things he brought home. Like all of those sheets of metal. I have no idea what they were intended to be used for, where they may have came from or what his plans were for them. For us, they made great clubhouses. With careful precision we could stand them up and begin our shelter of the day. Building them as one would a house of cards only bigger and a bit more heavy. Each sheet had a line of holes directly down the center which meant careful layering to prevent leaks. It was a treat to be inside one of the clubhouses when a shower would come up. Listening to the rain as it struck the ‘roof’, hearing the drumming music that it made was mesmerizing. There was something special about having that privacy, a bit of secrecy even though all we were doing was sitting on the sandy dirt inside, out of the sun.
Grandfather also built a large open shed behind his workshop. One end was open so he could simply drive his tractor in and out without hassle. At that time there wasn’t any worries about anyone bothering his things. We all knew each other on this road then as there were only five families here. Times have changed. I stood many times at that entrance and watched the rain falling, watering the garden, cooling the temperature down a bit.
One thing I have always loved was to take hikes in the woods on our property. There are several small creeks that run through it, more when there is plenty of rain ( such as now). Behind our house, down at the bottom of the hill there is a small gulch. During the dry times, it is dry. When we’ve had a rain storm, that gulch becomes its own creek. The land slopes downward, so the rain water starts at the main road and follows the gulch down through the woods until it reaches the pond and then once the pond is full to overflowing the water moves on through the woods, filling the creeks as it goes. If there is enough water I can hear it falling from my back yard. There have been times when I’ve been walking only to get caught in a shower. If the rain isn’t falling too hard I can take shelter under the trees, listening to the rain as it strikes the leaves. At times, I can feel the rain as it rolls down from leaf to leaf until it falls to where I am standing. I’ve walked along parts of the Dirt Road where the tree top canopy reaches out and entangles creating a covering that protects those under it from the rain. Once again walking and listening to nature’s music. Of course those hard showers that can penetrate the canopy creates the puddles that I loved to wade through then and still do to this day. The feeling of red clay mud between your toes gets in your heart and stays there.
As a youth, and now as an adult, I love to open the windows and listen to the summer showers falling. There is no better stress relief. Forget your pills, forget those self medications such as alcohol, forget that hot bubble bath- well no, lets not forget that, it works well also–but, the sound of falling rain is magical. Stress and frustration melts away leaving all the good memories in its place. I may not get to work in my yard tomorrow, but I will get to sit on the front porch with a cup of coffee and watch the rain falling. All the while remembering … with a smile.