“The Small Rain Down Can Rain”

Atkinson+Grimshaw+1836-1893+-+British+Victorian-era+painter+-+Tutt'Art@+(1)As I type this, March is fulfilling its proverbial role of coming in like a lion. Just a few minutes ago, all that I could hear was the roar of water descending from the sky, like the flow from an Eternal Faucet (or Showerhead). It’s subsided a little by now, but I can still hear it, trickling from the eaves, beating its way into the still-damp ground. The raindrops sound like tiny hammer blows as they strike the earth.

We need this rain badly, of course. Southern California’s had one of its dryest years yet, and there have been some nasty brush-fires recently–one of which was caused by a trio of careless idiots who decided to light an illegal campfire while they were out in the hills one night. Alcohol and pot may have also been involved, which doesn’t surprise me a bit. I could wish, though, that we weren’t getting this rain in a lump, increasing the risks of mudslides, flash floods, and road accidents.

Still, compared to snow-besieged friends and family in the East, we’re probably getting off lightly. And when I’m not actually caught in the rain, fighting the wind and wet as I try to get from Point A to Point B (as I was on one notable occasion last summer), I find it evocative, and sometimes even soothing.

If you can avoid going anywhere during a rainstorm, I advise you to do so. Curl up with a good book or a favorite movie. Press on with that troublesome scene you’ve been writing. Cook something that makes the house smell wonderful. Catch up on some correspondence. Listen to that album you’d been meaning to play. Take advantage of Nature’s little tantrum and treat yourself to some entertainment indoors, especially if you’re lucky enough to still have electricity!

The unknown author of the 16th century poem I quoted in the title of this blog may have had the best idea yet:

O, western wind, when wilt thou blow?

The small rain down can rain.

Christ, that my love were in my arms,

And I in my bed again!

As rainy day activities go, that has a distinct appeal!

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