Chronicles

Rain Rain Rain Go Away Mike Wants to Play?

        Memories are short, especially when it comes to weather phenomena. That is, in small part, why I have kept a journal for nearly thirty years now. I've spend some time leafing back through the years recently to see if I could find a comparison to the latest stretch of rainy weather that we have had. After all, nearly 200 millimetres (around eight inches) of rain in a two week span seems like an incredible amount of moisture to absorb.

        And it is! I have no record of such a persistent drenching, especially in this time of "high summer." I can recall (and my journals support me) weeks of damp, grey, miserable weather in April and May, and occasionally in late fall, but not in late July or mid August.

        It is raining as I write. My clothes are damp and I have given up changing into drier ones, simply because every time I have to go outside, even for a few minutes, they get damp all over again, even, it seems, when it is not actively raining. The air is permeated with moisture and my lawns seem to be floating on sponges as I walk over them. The basement is as dank as it is in run-off season and so is the attic. My woodland paths are inundated; places that normally are hard dry by now are as soggy as they usually are for a few brief days after the snow melts in April. This is the summer when we have not had a care about the water levels in our wells; right now they cannot contain even a fraction of the water that is flowing through the ground around them.

        It takes some getting used to, this amount of water at this time of year.

        And, yet, it is intensely beautiful. I cannot recall a summer when things have stayed so intensely green for so long. The grass has not even paused since late May, and the gardens are lush with growth. Granted, some of the flowers seem overwhelmed by the bounty, but I have never had such stalwart corn, pumpkins, squash or onions at this early date. We have been eating new potatoes for two weeks now and, instead of the tiny beebees that I would normally expect this early, the tubers are almost to fall harvest size.

        I, for one, have taken to going about my daily business despite the rain. In doing so, I have come to realize that there is something sensuous about being out in a warm, soft drizzle, something akin to life in a tropical forest, or, perhaps, in the Garden of Eden. Everywhere I look, things are fresh, vital, and dazzling - just as if they are in a perpetual state of rebirth and renewal. (20) I pick raspberries, not because it is good to pick them in the rain, but because they are growing so quickly that they will not wait for it to dry before they fall of their own accord. The pea plants are soggy masses to move to find the pods, but the harvest has been abundant - and the peas themselves are full, sweet, and clean. Beans, too, are growing as though they never want to stop and, although it is not normally wise to pick them when it is wet, once again, I have little choice. It is either pick them despite the wet (and risk the spread of a fungus that will eventually kill them) or lose them in any case.

        Walks in the woods produce baskets of edible wild mushrooms for those knowledgeable enough to pick them and, at the same time, delight eyes and noses with sights and smells of abundant, almost rampant, growth.

        Oh, I know that all of this will stop eventually and we will get some of the hot, dry weather that we expect in August and September. I will welcome it when it comes and I will not bemoan the passing of this very wet spell. But, perhaps perversely, I have enjoyed it, even as it has hampered some of my projects. It has been warm, soft, mysterious at times, and beautiful.

        In short, it has made me realize, once again, that there is no such thing as a bad summer day; there are good days and better ones, but they all have something to offer.

       

        This article appeared in the Campbellton Tribune, in Mike's "Grains of Sand" column. It is reproduced with Mike's permission.

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