Oct. 12th, 2012 - Ashley
Today the rains began. I woke this morning to that comforting patter and a dull gray sky. We quickly battened down the hatches, covering the fire wood and hauling our now-sodden-belongings inside. Drank coffee and tea. Ate squash with sausage, leeks and roasted peppers. Worked quietly. In the afternoon we dusted off our rain gear and went out for a walk. The streets ran with water, washing away the long-piled up pine needles, and the beach was grey and nearly empty; just the way I like it. It was easy to imagine all of the trees and plants taking a deep, gasping breath of air when the first drops began to plummet from the sky today.
A few weeks ago we were talking about a passage from one of our all-time favorite books, Mink River by Brian Doyle. In the story the
whole community of a small coastal town bets on when the first rains of the season will begin. I suggested we also make a bet, which today I won.
Here is a passage from Mink River that I love, a wonderfully lyrical description of the first rains of the season:
"At four in the morning, on All Souls Day, the Day of the Dead, the second of November, the priest winning the bettering pool, seven drops of water fell from the sky, headlong, pell-mell, sliding from the brooding mist, and then seventy, and then the gentle deluge,a whisper of wet, a thorough and persistent pittering on leaf mold and newt knuckle, web and wood, tent and vent, house and mouse, the rain splittering the sea, soaking boats, rinsing streets, fluffing owls and wetting towels, sliding along power lines and dripping from eaves, rivuleting and braiding and weaving tiny lines in the thirsty earth, darkening the trunks of trees, jewelling the strands of spiders, sliding along clotheslines, moistening the infinitesimal dust in rain gauges. The rain gags a thrush chick who opened her mouth because the rain sounds like her mama. A rushing rivulet saves a shrew who is about to be snagged by a snake. New trout, having never seen rain on the river, rise eagerly to ripples on the Mink. Some windows close against the moist and some open for the music."
-Brian Doyle, Mink River.