Rain

I could curse the rain, or I could enjoy the rhythm, the tickle… I could hide, inside…or step out the door and dance with unadulterated joy.. I could feel the silliness rising inside of me, as I remember landing in a puddle, dead center, feet side by side, and splashing a boss in the process, when I was, perhaps, all of 45 years old 😉
 
Rain has a purity to it, a cleansing of the mind and of the soul.  For a time the mind has such clarity to search for meaning, to understand, and our very souls  become stripped naked by the water that washes over us…  
 
So, have you recently allowed the rain to strip your soul bare?
 
When I got home from work today, I took a walk–even though the called-for rain had already begun.  It was a nice light rain that tickled my brow and dampened my shoulders as I made my rounds.  The columbines that I have waited for two years to see bloom, are delightful.  They flutter and sway like pink, purple, and lavender butterflies in the slightest of a breeze, or the touch of the most delicate raindrop. The pansies remain in the "spectacular" category.  That is not a surprise as it has been such a long, cold, and wet spring.
 
I walk to the flowerbed behind the house.  I have to smile at what a haphazard mess it is right now.  False solomen’s seal stands in the back, ready to bloom.  The flower buds hanging at the ends of the zigzag fronds tumble toward me– and the sun that would shine over my shoulder, on a different, cloudless day.  They lean against a riot of blueviolet irises that smell mildly of grape PEZ.  There are hostas crowded at the front, that were heeled in a few autumns ago 🙂 you know, just for the winter, yet here they remain, relishing the rich earth and the shade of an old butternut tree.
 
The flower bed is a mound of dirt, pushed up with a skid-steer when Dave put in a drainage ditch.  When he did it, it looked ugly as dirt <wink> well, it was just a big pile of dirt.  So he set a couple of big rocks in front of it to hide the dirt.
 😀 
Four years later and countless hours of dry-stacking rocks, I have a rock wall in front of the big pile.  I know 🙂 two over one, one over two… but I did the best that I could with what  I had.  I have already heard the criticism… but I think that it looks awfully nice.  It is still a work in progress.
 
<sigh> like all of my art– unfinished…
 
The stone wall now has various sedums tucked here and there between rocks.  The whole bed is an excercise in varying growing conditions.  High and dry, part dense shade, and a foot or so of dappled shade, then intenese heat and sun at the front, down across the rock wall.  Very few things tolerate dense, dry shade, let alone thrive in it.  It is one of the more challenging growing conditions that a gardener can face.
 
Just on the edge of the pile of dirt, at original ground level, is a witch-hazel that is full of bird feeders.  Then the terrain gives way to steepness, and the engulfing canopy of trees as the land drops away down into the hollow.
 
I look out from where I stand, beside the witch hazel, and I view the larch trees.  Odd things that they are; I loathed them when I bought the property.  But I hate to cut down a tree, so they remained.  I often thank my lucky stars for the reluctance to call in Babe and Paul Bunyan.
 
The chartreuse feathers that they bore a month ago, on the tip of each and every tiny branch, has given way to the palest shade of mint green… dusted with a fine mist of rain right now.  And the tall softwoods beside them are changing from a pale green to a deeper shade of summer green.  The trunks have eyes where branches broke off, or died off as the tree grew.  Much like the famed white birch trees get eyes.
 
As the rain strikes each leaf, they twist, and shimmer… I smile to think about summer days, late afternoons, before approaching storms, how they turn their undersides to reveal silver, and then they sparkle like diamonds in the sunshine. I know the science of why they do it–flattened petiole tht causes them to shake from side to side… but when I look upon a huge stand of them, sparkling like gems in the wind, it is whimsy and fascination, that engulf me… it is dreams and fantasy that take over my mind… life is like that some days…
 
The world grows mightily silent when it rains…wonder why that is?  The birds have quieted, with the exception of that desperate brown thrasher who has yet to find a mate.  He sings his song of courtship.  Even I know why this one is still singing the first week of June.  The songs should be immitations of other bird’s songs, and they should be sung in couplets, tweet-tweet, pretty bird-pretty bird, drink your teeeeeeeea-drink your teeeeeeeea…but he has them all mixed up… drrrrrrink!  Prettybird, driiiink your teeeeeea, poor tom peabody peabody peabody peabody peabody…driiiink!  I kind of giggle thinking about the poor bird!  He sings to attract a female, and ornithologists think that the females judge him by his song.  If he has the couplets down pat, and a good repertoire of bird songs, he is accepted quickly.  If he knows few songs, and he sings them more or less than twice each time… well… I can tell you from observation that there aren’t many brown thrashers singing perfect couplets come June 🙂  Those ornithologists must be onto something 🙂
 
Time to go inside… the rain has accumulated enough that it is dripping big drops from the trees…
 
I enjoyed the walk through the mist, hearing the silence of still air, and the song of rain as it lightly fell.  I cannot choose to wait for sunny days… I find that dreaming comes more easily in the rain…
 
I changed into dry clothes, and am comfortably in bare feet… and I walk to the windows in the kitchen.  Four of them in a row, with a view of the valley.  There are no gutters on the lower side of the house yet, and I watch the rain drip and splash on the back deck… and I find that I am for a dreamy moment, so very, very much, one with AE Housman… I understand, I am fluent with the emotion that he had to have been filled with when he wrote "Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now".
 
"Of my threescore years and ten, twenty will come not again
So to the woods I will go, to see the cherries hung with snow."
 
How the heck did I arrive here?  Here, where I am living the essence of his message?
 
Are you?
 
And "living" is the key word.
 
I came across a quote by Jonathan Swift from Gulliver’s Travels, that embodies my remaining time…
 
"I hope that you live all the days of your life."  
 
It just says it all
 
So let the rain fall… and I will embrace the world, and the life within it, as fully as I do on sunny days…
 
What do you think? Are you living all the days of your life? Or is it time to start?
🙂 
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About Teresa Cypher

I live with my husband in a humble house in the middle of a tall stand of hardwoods, bordered by soybean and corn fields, in western Pennsylvania. Mother of three adult children and "Grammie" to one sweet little girl, I revel in family gatherings and celebrations. My husband and I care for the gardens on our property--our little corner of heaven, have a glass of wine at sunset, and like to watch the stars come out. Currently working in QC and Development for a Bio-technology Company that produces green, agricultural products. I came into the world a creator of stories. Having been born into a litter, the 7th of 8 children, in a farming family, I have spent most of my life trying to be an individual. My dreams took me there. From the time I was a little girl, I was a thinker, spending any time I could find to be alone--the bastion of undisturbed thoughts, dreaming of other worlds and of fairy-tale love. My mind never shut off-- through the years when thoughts allowed me to escape the everyday world of farm life, to the daydreams while I was raising children and being the cook, the baker, the candlestick maker,and the taxi driver-- all while working full time. It took until middle age for me to realize that my meandering mind was writing stories! Once I sat down and started typing, it took 2 months to write my first book. My biggest challenge at first was getting my fingers to type fast enough to keep up with my mind. My daughter bought me a small digital recorder so I could save my thoughts until my fingers could catch up. The story that I wrote, Across The Night Sky ,was years in the making, and timed well...after I had experienced real life and the joys and heartaches it brings. I think that time gave me a well-spring of experiences from which to merge fairy-tale love with the cynicism adult life creates--while never losing sight of the beautiful and wonderful that love is. Writing is my passion...this incredible discovery in mid life that often keeps me up till the wee hours of the morning. I am so very fortunate to have the opportunity to devote my time to something that brings me such joy.
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