When I emerge from our blacked-out bedroom in the morning, this is the view I most long for just now. Rain, blessed rain, on the skylight window. I stick my head out of the window as it is at head height and allow the water to mist my face and smell the heavenly scent of moisture on the roof tiles.
I go down stairs and make coffee and then wander down to the huge IBC water container to see if even a bit more water has run into it off the carport roof. Old white towelling dressing gown, rubber clog-type shoes, hair awry and clutching my coffee-I don’t care a bit what the neighbours think and I am up so early that they are very unlikely to behold this sight anyway. I turn my face to the sky and know that every leaf in the garden is doing the same.
This is Jack. He’s a Lemon tree that I have grown from a pip. Sorry about the name…couldn’t resist. He spent the winter in the back porch, sheltering from the cold. But, you know, it didn’t get that cold. I probably could have left him outside the back door where he lives in the summer. He sulked with old and shrivelled leaves when we first man-handled all 8- foot of him in his huge pot back out outside into the Spring sun but then, warmth, water and food encouraged new leaves to push off the old and this day’s rain has added to his glowing splendour.
The rain puddling on the glass top of the patio table creates unrepeatable patterns and plays with the sun peaking out from behind the clouds.
That rain in England has become remarkable at all is shocking to me. I arrived in England just after the 1976 drought and I do remember how brown everything was then. But, just as I arrived, the rains came and remained for months. It rained all the time. I was blissfully happy. I was in England now and rain was certainly what I expected. The British moaned about it in their customary habit of not liking whatever the weather is doing on any given day, ever. But last month, 40°C (104°F), here, in Lincolnshire, was utterly shocking.
My Mom used to say, “expect the worst and then, if the best happens, it’s a bonus!” I feel like that about changing weather patterns. Whether it’s a natural long-term pattern (which I know has happened many times in Earth’s history), or whether we have helped give it a push along with our behaviour around carbon emissions- either way, it IS happening and we need to plan ahead if we can.
We have a big garden and I have 8 water collecting containers of varying sizes to collect the rain run-off from the house and outbuildings, totalling around 4000 litres. I know this is illegal in some places around the world where water companies who make a profit from this water claim it as their right and property and have the legal backup to prosecute anyone who collects the water from their own buildings for their own use. These water-collectors are considered to be committing theft from the water company. You are supposed to run the hose to water your garden and pay for that privilege. Really? Yes, really. You couldn’t make it up.
Anyway, on this day when the rain finally came, I was so grateful for the gift of water for my garden that I felt moved to document it and consciously appreciate it’s utter life-giving properties. We are screwed without it and, as with most things we take totally for granted, we treat it very badly indeed.
Next time it rains where you are, go stand out in it for a few minutes and appreciate the miracle the makes our planet blue.
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