Hoping for Rain

My late father, whenever it rained, would crow, “It’s raining.” And then he would open the door and say, “Listen to the music.”

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A couple of weeks ago, I went mulberry picking. Plenty of trees grow wild along the road or irrigation ditches, and they produce among the first fruits of spring. I don’t know how, but within the past decade, some mulberry trees are growing white or pale pinkish fruit. Always before, the berries were all black and long, like caterpillars. These white berries are shorter and fatter, like grubs. I don’t mean to gross anyone out, but that’s what they remind me of, and it doesn’t stop me from enjoying them. (I later discovered that white mulberries come from Asia, and both berries and leaves are particularly good for controlling blood sugar.)

The wind was stiff when I ventured forth, so I opted to walk instead of ride my bike. I was moving on to my third tree, which grew along an irrigation ditch, when the wind really picked up. It didn’t gust. It just blew like an air hose. The leaves on this particular tree were numerous enough to hide the fruit, so I had to part them as I picked. But with the increase in wind speed, I found it not only difficult to reach the fruit among the flailing leaves, but the branches were whipping, and I grabbed on, uncomfortably close to a ditch of rushing water. Never had I felt so fierce a wind. It lasted for perhaps five minutes, but it was enough to let me know my berry picking was over.

With all this wind, we hoped for rain. And maybe we would smell the rain that fell elsewhere. Only a smattering of drops, too few to settle the dust, would tease us. And then…nothing.

A week later, however, the radio announced a severe storm warning for our area.

Would it come? Or would it be an electrical storm, delivering no moisture?

That afternoon lavender clouds mounted, looking at first like pulled wool, and then wadded into heavy masses. We saw the flash of sheet lightning and heard the jet airplane rumble that seemed non-ending. On and on. Hubby and I stood on the porch or at the door or in the yard.

“Come on. Come on. You can do it,” we urged the heavens.

We counted the drops dancing in the bird bath, stopping and several minutes later starting again, only to stop.

“Come on.”

Lightning!

Count to 12.

Thunder.

And before it died, more lightning.

The thunder grumbled on in rain-fragrant air.

By the time I retired to bed, we heard the downpour. There was no wind. A flash filled the bedroom, and we heard what sounded like a refrigerator falling and bumping the house. Then the thunder.

And we fell asleep to the music of rain.

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