Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rain in Winter

Judah's Blackland Prairie Picture
Image by protoflux via Flickr
I love a rainy day, but rain in winter has a singular feel.  When the temperature is low, but not freezing, and the air is piercing, the time has come to reflect on the benefit of this unpleasant state.  It's not a day to enjoy the smell of the flowers or the light of the sun.  It is a time to review and anticipate.

We have had a drought of some consequence.  Many people have sold livestock because they didn't have pasture and couldn't afford to buy hay.  Fishermen have agonized over the lake levels and concern for the fish populations.  Homeowners have watered the foundations of their houses to prevent shifting and cracking.  On sand that is of less concern, but on the Blackland prairie it is real threat.

Rain in winter is a time for a warm comforter and a book of Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson or the Psalms and maybe even a fire in the fireplace and memories.  

I remember walking with my father as he started to work and I went to school.  It was not freezing, but the wind in our faces was biting and the mist stood on the skin piercing like needles.

"Nothing is colder than a wet. east wind," he said as we crossed the yard.  He had his hands jammed in his pants pockets and his suit coat flapped in the wind.  I knew the temperature was probably 38 or 40 degrees F, but I understood his statement, too.  The power to chill to the bone lay in the moisture and the air movement.

When we turned the corner and followed the sidewalk south the wind was no longer in our faces, and the weather and the complaints stopped; we accepted this as winter time in East Texas.    

The retreat to the couch with a blanket and a book is a long held dream.  I do it sometimes, but the mood or the atmosphere are more real than the event.  The rain will soak the ground after the long dry spell, and planting will be followed by budding, growth, and harvest.  For me, the books will be absorbed, and the long thoughts of winter afternoons have the hope of blossoming into new thoughts as winter passes.  Dormant seasons give rest from activity and offer the possibility of new crops or projects.
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