Thursday, May 28, 2009

A PURELY PERFECT RAIN!

Today the glowering skies finally kept their promise and delivered rain. Not a lot, it’s true; but what the storm lacked in duration it made up for in exuberance. No more than a minute after I’d dumped and raked the final wheelbarrow of soil in the large flower bed I’ve been plugging away at since before my Florida junket, the first drops began pattering through the leaves. I took refuge on the side deck. Thirty seconds later the dark clouds opened and the rain poured down—a deluge you could hear coming like an onrushing wind. In seconds the deck was drenched. I bolted for the door. Looking back, it was barely possible to see across the river to the island. No way to tell whether or not my turkey vulture neighbors made it to the shelter of the tall sycamores. The downpour roared. Rain fell in torrents—hard, fast, bouncing off the deck’s planking, flattening the ox-eye daisies beside the stone steps which lead down to the water. The pool in front of the cottage bubbled as if on hard boil. In the midst of the cloudburst a kayaker came paddling through the riffle, over the lip of the drop-off, and into the Cottage Pool—drenched to the core; as wet sitting upright as he would have been turned upside down. The poor guy looked miserable…but I remember plenty of similar soakings I’ve taken running rivers in canoes, and the truth is, if the weather was warm I sort of enjoyed the experience. I hoped this fellow had a similar attitude. Fifteen minutes after it began, the rain ended. One moment it was raining…the next, the sky-faucet had been twisted to off. A minute or two later the sun peeked through the clouds as the trees drip, drip, dripped in staccato rhythm. As best I can tell, my little acre of riverbank received perhaps a half-inch of rain. Enough to give things a good watering without raising the river’s level. Plus I got my work done in time for the show. A purely perfect rain!

17 comments:

Bernie said...

Riverdaze, I so enjoyed reading about your rain fall. Your descriptive words are amazing and I found myself standing on the porch, smelling the newly dumped soil and flowers. You have a gift my friend and should consider writing a book. When one can take one along with them on their journey with words alone as easy as the kayaker on the river than you have to know you have made a beautiful memory. Thank you for sharing, .......:-) Bernie

The Weaver of Grass said...

Those are the best rain photographs I have ever seen Scribe.
I am sure your canoeist wouldn't mind his soaking - I think canoeists are water creatures anyway!
It is early morning here, the sun is shining, the air is full of the scent of Hawthorn blossom and the buttercups are shining gold in the meadows - I have just taken my sore back for a short, gentle walk - perfection. What more could anyone wish for. Have a nice day/

Wanda said...

Your words come together like ancient verses describing a wonderful historical event...I believe you could write about poison ivy and make us want to embrace it...Perfect again!

Jayne said...

There is just something really invigorating about those fast soakers when they come. And then to see it just suddenly stop and the sun come out... priceless.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Thank you very much for such a lovely compliment.

The whole point of good descriptive writing, to me, is putting any readers smack in the middle of the experience. Someone, Hemingway I think, said you not only want to tell the story, but you want the reader to know the way the earth feels underfoot, or the the sharp, clean breath of salt spray on their cheek; you want them to hear the waves and birds, or smell the oak leaves in the fall.

I'm certainly no Hemingway—but I try, through the alchemy of whatever talent I possess and whatever amount of work I'm willing to put into a given sentence, to convey those things via words.

In the end, it's not about ego, but because I'm trying as best I can to share the experience. So I'm glad you enjoy these little pieces. It means I'm doing my job. Again, thank you…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I'm pleased you liked the photos. I wasn't sure about running them—especially the one that just shows the view from my front deck (actually, I took it while standing in my great room with the sliding door open) across the river. And I really didn't like the fact that some guy with a fishing pole—I won't disgrace my fellow anglers by calling him a fisherman—left a tossed-aside worm container (the little white spot) on the gravel bar.

Anyone who does much canoeing or kayaking understands (or soon will) that when you leave your launch spot and began heading downstream to wherever your take-out point is, you're at the mercy of the weather. It was dark and ugly all day yesterday, obviously threatening to rain at any moment. Surely he was prepared for and expected a soaking.

Bright sunshine here this morning, too. I'd love to see your countryside on such a spring day—I know it's lovely.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Hey, ancient scribe…ancient words. What else might you expect! :-) (And, BTW, the title of a wonderful song by Michael W. Smith.)

Really, thank you.

Of course…if I ever do write about poison ivy, I hope folks only embrace it metaphorically. Don't want to have to buy and distribute cases of calamine lotion to a bunch of itching, scratching readers.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

A "get started, get 'er done, and get gone" rain. Couldn't have been better—especially as it gave me time to finish my bed preparation. (Of course, now I have to plant today.)

Jain said...

I smiled when I saw your blog title. :o) Hooray for your rain!

My most memorable canoe trip was paddling upstream a couple of miles in sunshine, then rushing home as the sky unexpectedly opened up. My mate and I paddled like mad, laughing ourselves silly, sitting in puddles in our seats. We still talk about it, years later.

As Bernie and Wanda said, terrific writing, and as Weaver said, great photos!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

I've spent so many days in canoes in the rain that I wouldn't even try and count them. Plus even more time in various sorts of boats, big and small.

Fishing is, of course, better on cloudy days—and cloudy days often revolve around rain. Being a severely passionate (I always think "passionate" sounds much better than "obsessed') fisherman, I'm habitually prone to set off downstream in a canoe when other non-fishing types are looking for shelter. Looming rain says to me: "good time to go fishin'!" The more looming the better. Which is why I've been rained upon moments after sliding my canoe into the creek, possibly within view of the launch site.

Bad weather has a way of sneaking up on you if you're having fun and not paying all that much attention. In the hill country, a nasty old rainstorm can come pouncing over the ridge like a black panther, snarling and spitting, even hailing. (Been hailed on, too, which is decidedly less fun in direct inverse proportion to the size of the hailstones whapping you on the beak, and the amount of clothing you're wearing.)

If it's cold—either by season or geography—I occasionally have a rain suit, jacket, or poncho along; if not, it's just two showers in the same day…one employing soap.

The guy in yesterday's kayak had a light spinning rod in his boat. So I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe he was just a canny fellow angler. If so, he was probably having a good time. I hope he caught a few bass.

Ketary said...

perfect rain, perfect story, perfect reading!!!!!!

Ketary said...

U already have 34 subscribers!!! congratulations!!!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Ketary…

Thank you for the nice words regarding this rain posting. As to the 34 followers—including you—I cherish each and every one. I'm amazed at the number myself.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I agree with Weaver about the rain photos, they are magnificent! I can almost hear it, and it's dry as anything here today!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

I appreciate your judgment regarding the rain photos. I was truly afraid they just didn't look "wet" enough or something…didn't show the downpour. I'm glad they did convey the moment after all.

Thank you…

giggles said...

Raph and all are right...great photos of the rain....delicious!!

And subscribers? Your list of followers has truly blossomed! A tribute to your talent! (I'm envious!)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I guess it's just me being too much of a perfectionist. It is often hard for me to be honest and objective regarding both my writing and photography.

I've never been able to do a half-way job with anything…which often works to my detriment. I'll keep fiddling with stuff way beyond the point where the extra time or effort becomes meaningful. When my daughter graduated from college—4.0 grade average, summa cum laude, honor's society, class valedictorian—she stood at the podium in a huge auditorium filled with people, and made mention of having inherited her father's perfectionism! Egads! I could have instilled a worse legacy in her, I suppose…but we both know it is a two-edge sword.

I'm still learning how to please myself while pleasing others. I'm glad you liked the photos and said so. Thank you.