Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rain in Ohio - March 3, 2010

...Rain, rain, rain! sings the robin

frantically, then flies for cover.

The crow hunches.

The blacksnake

pours himself swift and heavy

into the ground.

The robin senses rain and responds in fear; the crow in sullen defiance, and the snake in reclusion. I wonder if there are any animals that embrace the rain and see it as a sign of joy, an opportunity perhaps for hunting or gathering, or some activity other than withdrawal. I do not know. A quick glance on the internet suggests that the most obvious animal out and about in the rain is human, often hunting. Also what pops up on the internet is how it can rain fish, frogs, and birds - probably after terrific winds raise the animals out of their refuge and take them into the sky. No wonder they hunker down when hunters that are difficult to see are roaming in the land and sudden winds that cannot be escaped can come down upon one.

As a child my mother would sit with us on the open front porch and we would watch the storms come upon us - daring ourselves to not escape indoors. When lightening had passed but rain and flooded yards were round about, we would take to the streets and open fields in glee to embrace the warm rain upon our skin. I wonder if somewhere in the being of bird and snake, there is also not a pull and tug, knowing how the rain brings about the abundance of the land.

What is your response to rain?


  1. Comment from T:
    Again following Meredith's sermon on fear, and last Sunday's sermon, also sort of about fear -
    for about the past year, I have been trying to figure out how to get back to that place in childhood that is so fearless and accepting. Then, I loved storms, and nothing was better than sleeping with one in the background. I remember the excited anticipation of watching those huge Florida thunderheads build...

    Now, especially since the hurricanes of 2004, every breeze brings anxiety with it!

    Maybe if one could feel the responsibility of adulthood fall away, and feel that someone or something else is responsible (as our parents were), perhaps then fear would also fall away.

    How to get back there, and just rest in the creation...

  2. I am not sure the robins are fearful. Up north I have seen them gathering worms during a rainstorm. The worms were driven from the wet heavy clay of the earth to seek air. They could easily be found wiggling on the cement of the sidewalk or driveway, a robin's delight. My mother was frightened by storms so I had to watch the worms from behind the window.

    While raising my own children I often joined them in the rain, particularly once we moved to Florida where the rain is warmer. The water collecting in puddles was great fun to play in despite the warnings on TV that snakes might be present. Surfing on boogie boards along the swails was the most fun. No respecting child would wear a bathing suit. Wet clothes apparently made it more fun.

    We got the full force of hurricane Wilma with rain going sideways The TV warns one to stay in and not go out while the eye is going over. Most of my neighbors didn't heed that warning. Adults and children alike scurried up and down the road to look at damage and compare phone outages. They all made it inside for the second half which was really worse than the first.

    I have seen walking fish. It does not take a wind for them to leave their pond. The drainage pond nearby would fill up to the top. A bit of a jump would get them out and wiggling and jumping away looking for a new pond. They found enough puddles to stay alive and reach a long distance. Some would die because there was no other pond. As the puddles seeped into the ground some stranded ones turned back toward their pond. There were always more with the next heavy rain which happened only once or twice in a year.