Yesterday we finally received significant rain for the first time in many weeks. It’s been one of the driest summers we’ve had in this region since I first moved here over 10 years ago. I know for certain it hasn’t been this dry since I moved into my house in August of 2011 because I’m quite sure I’ve had to mow every week through spring and summer up until this year.
While I don’t miss the mowing, the lack of rain had turned every surrounding stream to dry rock beds. My yard felt like solid rock whenever I walked on it and looked like a desert filled with dead, yellow grass. I had to water my small trees and any outside plants every morning to help them survive the hot, dry weather. Any days I forgot to water my plants resulted in dead or dying plants and I think next year I’ll plant a few less pots.
There have been many days when the forecast predicted thunderstorms but they’d all pass to the north or south or evaporate before reaching this area. I was therefore skeptical when I saw the colorful blob of precipitation on the radar of my weather app. I wasn’t certain it would make it this far and actually drop rain if it did.
Fortunately, the storm clouds held together and thundered over our area dropping a substantial amount of much needed rain. I’d forgotten what wet roadways looked like! There were two big rounds of storms that swept through yesterday and when I took Jazzmin out into the yard afterwards, I was amazed to feel that the ground was slightly squishy and wet beneath my bare feet. It wasn’t like walking on rock anymore and I reveled in the softness from the rain.
Seeing my deck wet and my birdbaths overflowing with rain were welcome sights after such a long period of dryness. I’m sure the earth, trees, plants and animals were all extremely grateful for the rejuvenating softness of rain.
When my dad was alive and it would downpour like it has several times today, he was known to say “Oh, it’s just a little clear up shower.” He was being a little sarcastic of course, but now every time it rains cats and dogs, I recall those words and smile.
Today’s late afternoon rain did eventually let up and the sun came out, but by evening it was overcast and it started pouring after sunset. I’m not exactly sure what these “little” showers are clearing up, but I do know that they’re doing an effective job of overflowing local streams and runoff ditches. I had to drive through several road ponds on the way to pick up my daughters today and I was left wishing I had a boat instead of a car.
It’s a rare thing lately to have more than one day in a row without some form of rain around here, but at least the sun comes back out eventually. When I took Jazzmin out for the last time tonight I saw a bat flying through the darkening sky and I’m sure he appreciates all the bugs that come out in the humidity. It’s always nice to see creatures benefiting from the unpredictable weather and it reminds me that the little clear up showers serve an important purpose in the circle of life.
I love watching and listening as a storm rolls in like it did this evening. The sky darkens, the breeze picks up and thunder rumbles across the sky. Sometimes it sounds like the thunderclouds are talking to each other as a rumble from the the north is answered to the south. Eventually the rain starts and I have to retreat inside from the deck but I continue to watch through the windows. If I’m really lucky, the sun pops out amid or after the storm and I’m treated to a beautiful rainbow as I was this evening. Rainbows don’t rumble but they speak volumes in their wondrous colors.
It rained most of the day today but shortly before the sun set I saw its glow lighting my front trees. Curious to see how the sky looked after all the rain, I took Jazz outside and saw a full rainbow stretching across the eastern sky. It was still raining as I looked at it but I didn’t really mind.
I chased a rainbow once and it led me where I wanted to be but perhaps not at the right time. That journey served a purpose though and proved to me that there is always light after the storm. Sometimes rainbows shine in that light. Sometimes the storm clouds don’t part until the night and then its up to the moon and stars to shine. And sometimes the storm doesn’t pass until the next day and the light is the rising sun. But the light always returns, you just need to know when and where to look.
I enjoy thunderstorms. I’m not exactly thrilled when they knock out my power, but I enjoy watching them roll in across the sky. I was afraid of thunderstorms when I was a child. My parents would comfort me during them by saying the thunder and lightning were spirits bowling up in the clouds. That seemed reasonable to me and it made listening to storms more fun as I waited for the sounds of strikes and gutter balls. Nowadays I like to imagine my father bowling up among the clouds and the loudest booms resemble the jaw-dropping force of his strikes. I tell my daughters the bowling analogy and Jordan has a way of adding on to that by talking about the rain being the leaking water bottles of the athletes. I prefer that idea over the rain being their sweat…
I am fascinated by the sight of lightning flashing among dark clouds in the distance. Watching the visible line of hard rain approach has mesmerized me to the point of forgetting I need to go inside before I become drenched. I have even washed my hair in an overflowing downspout. It wasn’t as alluring as those shampoo commercials but it was very refreshing!
I have been told that I am less than sane to go running out into the openness of my back yard to watch a thunderstorm approach. But there is something so empowering and energizing about the force of wind and billowing darkness of the clouds. Feeling the earth tremble beneath my bare feet as thunder rolls is a vivid reminder of the unbridled strength of Mother Nature.
Being awakened from a peaceful slumber by the loud booming of thunderstorms makes my heart race but I’m not afraid of it any longer. I open my curtains to watch the lightning flash or remain laying in bed as the light strobes through the fabric and illuminates my room. Mother Nature is unpredictable and uncontrollable and she and I don’t always see eye to eye. But I will give her credit where credit is due and continue to appreciate the humbling strength and beauty of thunderstorms.
It appears that it’s going to be one of those Springs where Mother Nature has intensely fluctuating mood swings. Warm one day, cold the next. Rain, snow, sun, wind and the other day, a mini ice storm. It’s hard to know how to dress and what coat to grab when even the weather apps I use can’t seem to keep up from moment to moment. The forecasters keep optimistically forecasting warm sun and when it doesn’t come I wonder if they fear for their lives.
This random and erratic spring weather coalesced into something rather inspiring to me during the thankfully short-lived ice storm. As I was driving home I passed by several streams that were overflowing from all the rain. These same streams were surrounded by bare-branched trees that were coated with frozen droplets or rain. All the buds on the trees looked frozen in time while the water continued to flow rapidly past them and it created a stunning contrast in my mind.
I have experienced moments that feel frozen in time. Some of these moments are amazingly wonderful and others are heartbreakingly painful. When those moments were