Where I live, it never rains. In the past it did, at least, a little bit. As the old joke used to go, “Our annual rainfall is about 17 inches. You should be here on the day we get it.”
But a few years ago, it pretty much quit. Raining, I mean. Water droplets in the air were never very plentiful here, and wind and dirt have long been far too readily available. When rain chances are near zero, the chance for wind and dirt, accompanied by rodents, chihuahuas, and small children flying by through brown air are depressingly higher.
Gotta be climate change, right? If it doesn’t rain here. If it floods a couple of states away. If my truck’s oil needs changing. If my years-ago-broken toe aches. If it snows. If it doesn’t snow. If the dog seems restless. If Putin wakes up surly, Biden wakes up befuddled, or Trump wakes up with a storm around his noggin more strangely orange than usual. Someone mutters, “Climate change.” Heads bow knowingly in silent and worshipful affirmation.
I do not doubt, by the way, that the world’s climate does change and is changing. I do doubt that the world is on track to end because of it. (Poker metaphor: I’ll “call” your scientist and “raise” you another.) And I very much doubt that ham-stringing our economy, throwing billions skyward, and begging for Middle East fossil fuel rather than using our own will accomplish anything beyond making expensive offerings to a relatively new and incredibly self-righteous green religion.
Pharisees are pharisees, unhappy people who are the center of their own religion and are never happier than when they are making other people unhappy. I fight my own pharisaical tendencies but talking about “saving the world” in the same breath as “electric vehicle” is not the brand of self-righteousness that most tempts me. Besides that, I need to pay a bill or two and have no time, climactically speaking, to save the world this week. Maybe a week from Thursday? It seems to me that we have more pressing potential disasters on the radar.
Ah, but as Paul Harvey used to say, “Wash out your ears with this!”
It never rains here, but it has been raining here now for two days! “Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain.” The notes of that old song play nicely in my head along with the soft patter of gently falling, perfectly soaking, rain. Driving home from church on Sunday, I saw kids out playing in the rain. Some of them may have never seen this before.
A nice recliner, a steaming cup of hot tea or coffee, a good book, a nap, a sleepy dog, a full rain barrel, and plants visibly perking up and taking notice. Heaven!
G. K. Chesterton once wrote about “The Romantic in the Rain”: “It scrubs the sky. Its giant brooms and mops seem to reach the starry rafters and Starless corners of the cosmos; it is a cosmic spring cleaning.” Yes! Right here in late August. Right here where it never rains. Water! Right here!
“Drink more water!” we are incessantly admonished. Normally, I find that difficult. I prefer water as a “mixer,” heated and dancing through a tea bag or strained through a coffee bean. I want liquid when I’m thirsty, but as regards water straight up, I could almost be a teetotaler. When I’m truly parched, I might throw moderation to the wind and guzzle H2O, but, even then, I’d generally prefer it on the rocks with a splash of lemon.
But, as Chesterton says, “The enthusiastic water drinker must regard a rainstorm as a sort of universal banquet . . . Think of the imaginative intoxication of the wine drinker if the crimson clouds sent down claret.” He pictures purple clouds raining port wine and trees clashing boughs “as revelers clash cups” as the rain falls. The trees drink to “the health of the world.”
Ah, yes, he writes, the rain falls and the treetops bow their heads downwards, the pavement and sidewalks become mirrors and “gorgeous skyscapes,” and we get “the sense of Celestial topsy-turvydom,” a “bright, wet, dazzling confusion of shape and shadow, of reality and reflection, . . . and the strange sense of looking down at the skies.”
Strange, but beautiful. A world washed off, clarified, beautified, and enlivened by God’s good gift of rain.
Rain where it never rains. A brief and very welcome climate change for which I am truly thankful.
You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!
Copyright 2022 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.