Rain Is The New Sexy: Everyday Magic, Day 600

It’s true: the heavens open up, and we’re beside ourselves with giddy joy. Last night, it rained after enough thunder to make the dog try to squeeze my bed between my pillow and the wall. This morning, I stepped outside to see a few stretches of standing water on the deck before the temperature evaporated it all back into that all-too-predictable sky.

It’s been decayed-bone-dry here. Stepping outside either means entering a giant sauna or being battered around in a giant dryer (depending on the wind). The corn is dead or dying, the fields are straw-like or brown. The cat has given up and gone to sleep on the floor, and the dog is in such despair about the state of things that he’s been trying to bite through a bag of coffee beans (I got it away from him). Such is the state of the worst drought in 27 or 52 or 85 years (depending on the source) in a summer when a drop to 99 degrees makes us say to each other, “It’s not so bad out now.”

Rain is the hot topic: “What is this thing you call ‘rain’?” my publisher writes back to me when I ask if their weather in Iowa is as bad as theirs. When it did rain, some weeks back, my friend Reva posted on Facebook, “Where were you when the rain came, and how did you rejoice?” On the phone with a friend in Vermont, when she mentioned yet another storm, I almost swooned and asked her to describe the downpour in detail.

Here, when the rain does come, it’s like a mirage broken away (or maybe the rain is the mirage). Sure, it might be 100 degrees and raining once every two or three weeks for a few minutes, definitely not enough for this land, these animals roaming and foraging this land, and all of us who live here. Yet when the rain falls, we fall in love again, and of course, we want to dwell happily with our beloved, if only this sexy being wouldn’t rush off to cooler places.


First Cold Rain of the Season: Everyday Magic, Day 117

I sit in the old block chair salvaged from a curb one sunny day, the cat asleep behind my head, the rain steady and expansive, and the occasional loud rushes of water from where we should have gutters wrapping sound and calm around me. Soup cooks in the crockpot. The dog sleeps on the floor. The windows are filled with darkness and the reflections of our lamps, and I’m trying to summon up the energy to saute some onions and make some cornbread.

This outrageously long fall is clearly ending. From 487 miles north, in St. Paul, MN., my daughter sends me an email titled, “So this is interesting” with nothing in it but a link to the weather report she’s facing: 100% snow for her weekend. Back in the wet skies of Kansas, I can’t yet imagine snow, but I know the trees are being washed free of their leaves, the ground is softening, and winter is coming.