Sunday, August 19, 2007

Refreshing. Vital. Rain.

Rain. Falling. Thick. Luscious. Wet. A wonderfully welcome and most refreshing change. As I walk the trail I tingle with excitement. The birds are fluffing up their feathers; the trees look renewed; the mud underneath my feet squwelches and I sink into the once (just a day ago) hard earth.

Mud. Rain. Water. Glorious.

The colours of the river are subdued but luminous. A spectrum of greys. Dark greens. Olive browns. Dulled coppery tans. The deep marooney plum of the new growth. Emeraldish grasses. Black and white birds. Magpies. Mudlarks. Butcher birds. Willie wagails. Foraging with joy.

It's certainly not the case, to use the words of the old song, of 'Grey skies are gonna clear up, Put on a happy face'. The coming of the rain puts a happy face on the other trail visitors and on the river itself. 'It's great,' they say, 'I like this sort of rain.' Drizzly rain. Soaking rain. Happy rain.

There is new life protruding everywhere I look. The leaves are dancing with delight. Gone is their droopy countenance, now they gleam with renewed vigour. The river sparks with renewed vitality, its smile lighting up the valley and my heart.

Mary Oliver, the wonderful poet, writes so evocatively about the rain and her relationship with it, that I will let her words speak the feelings that I feel.

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.