Outside my window, rain drizzles onto the wood of the deck. The sky today is grey, overcast with wet clouds. The world is reclaiming its greenness after a long bout of sunshine. Today feels like the beginning of winter, but the date is March 13th. Daylight savings time has began. Passover, the Holiday of Spring, is three weeks away, and the first of the Hebrew month Nissan, traditionally considered the first day of spring, will be bursting upon us in eleven days.
The weather forecast calls for rain for the next week, and I am glad. I’ve seen the reservoirs drain not so slowly over these dry few months. We need the rain. We need the water sipping into our soil, feeding bulbs and seeds, bringing new growth to life. And this year, not just because of the shortage of water, I’ve decided that I love winter. I will no longer sing songs that ask the rain to come back another day.
Israelis, living in a country often beset by long periods of drought, sing a welcoming tune to the rain:
Rain, rain from the sky
Voice of many water droplets
Pitter patter, pitter patter
Clap your hands!
I love the grey air and the promise of rain. I love how clean everything smells. I love the green grasses and shrubs that pop up around my trees and the new leaves that decorate even the oldest and most bent oak in the yard. I love how my creek, ever dry during summer, fills up and begins to flow, and the banana slugs that slither under rotting old leaves and over slick rocks. I love staying in bed a little longer, reading a book, listening to the rhythm of drops on the sunroof in the living room.
It is music. It is life and nourishment. Such a precious gift, this rain.
It is easy to appreciate the rain now that it is scarce. I wonder what I’ll feel another year, like last year when the clouds rained and rained. A plant needs sunshine to make food for its cells, and I must have sunshine to smile, cheer up, feel well. Days after days of rain depress me. Too much grey bows me down.
My favorite are days when the sun peeks through the clouds and a rainbow spreads from one edge of the world to another, promising an end to the flood. In my heart I keep this promise, that there can be no huge spanning rainbow without rain, no pots of gold, bluebirds and dreams coming true. But for now, I can bear the dark clouds. I need no sun to brighten me up today. It is not flooding at this moment, just drizzling a slow but steady pour of water we desperately need. I want no end for it yet. I long for the gift of more rain.
Rain, rain, please stay. And come again for many days.