In the middle of a drought that’s beginning to be compared to the dust-bowl years of the 1930’s, many are begging God for rain. As I walked the streets of my neighborhood on my daily stroll, the half-dead grass in the yards and faded gray-green of bushes brought to mind times of refreshing rain.
We lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a number of years. The climate there is gentle, with mild winters and colorful springs and autumns. Summer can get pretty steamy, but there are three lakes near or in the city in which to cool off. The Ouachita mountains make it a beautiful place.
One summer day, we decided to visit friends who didn’t have central air-conditioning. It wasn’t too hot that day, so the windows in the kitchen and eating area stood open, the window unit given a rest. White ruffled curtains lifted a bit with occasional tiny breezes. The men wandered out to the front porch while our children played in the living room, and Rita and I visited at the kitchen table, sipping sweet iced tea from tall, sweating glasses.
A sudden darkening of the room and distant clap of thunder warned us of approaching rain mere minutes before the downpour. I breathed in the aroma of rain just as the first drops landed on the tin roof. It didn’t take long for the plink-plink notes of small drops to give way to pop-pop. Then in a rush, it sounded like a dump-truck load of golf balls was poured onto the house.
The men stayed out on the porch, enjoying the drop in temperature. The children, engrossed in their make-believe, seemed not to notice the rain. But Rita and I jumped up from our chairs and dashed around the house, pulling windows almost all the way down, but not quite, to keep the water out but still let air in. The storm stirred up a few wind gusts that blew the kitchen curtain edges up and down. Soon, the sound of golf balls gave way to a soft pattering that continued for an hour.
Conversation shared over our iced tea while it rained, our children played, and our husbands visited gave such pleasure that day. When the rain stopped, we opened the windows back up and started fixing dinner. We ate like kings on fresh garden vegetables and local meat.
The memory faded like dry grass as I stepped out of the shade provided by a line of trees and into the searing heat of sunshine. “Please, Lord, let it rain,” I begged.
Do you have a favorite memory associated with rain? Or a nightmare memory? Do you remember a funny incident caused by rain?