The first time it rained after I moved to Texas, I remember jumping out of my bed in the early morning, clambering to find the source of what I presumed was a leak.
The but the heavy drip that was coming off the eaves of the house was no leak, but just the natural flow of the water running off the roof — the sound of it enough to jolt me out of my morning sleep.
I live in a house with no gutters. It seems to be common in my neighborhood, but something I’m just not yet used to.
Currently, I’m listening to the water run off the roof and clap onto the concrete patio below. I’m watching the dimples in a puddle out in the alley, noting the rate of the light but steady rain.
The lady cardinal, one half of the mated pair that have graced me with their presence in my backyard, sits on a shepherd’s hook and shakes the water out of her matted feathers. She flies up to the church-shaped bird feeder, itself dripping with rain from its hook under the eave. She cracks a few black oil sunflower seeds in her beak, shakes off more water, then flits back to her nest.
It started raining yesterday, which is a good thing, because the annuals I had just plopped into pots over the weekend were already due for a watering. Watering in Texas is going to take work, so the more rain we get, the less I have to work.
Rainy days have always made me feel more alive. Maybe it’s because water was present at the creation of the world, with the Spirit hovering over the waters, ready to speak and breathe and create, and we, too, can feel at the cusp of creating.
Or maybe because it’s the kind of day that can claim all five of our senses: we can feel the explosion of the droplets on our skin, we can taste the rain on our tongues, we can smell the freshness of the thundercloud moving in, we can see the the individual drop or we can see the haze of many, and we can hear the chain of patters off the rooftops in the neighborhood.
Maybe it’s because water is considered a classical element, common to life and death. Too little water, and there is death. Too much water, and there is death. Enough water, and there is life.
Before I left the church yesterday, something drew me to our attic, a place that I hadn’t dared go in my four months here in Denton. But upstairs I went, in the quiet, during the rain. And while poking around, I heard that drip-drip-drip that really did mean a leak and not just a cheerful rainy greeting.
Instead of the Spirit hovering over the water in the attic, a bucket would have to reside under the water for the time being. Less creative; more destructive.
It was neither a life nor a death situation, but rather an annoyance.
Regardless, I’m cherishing the rainy days. The Internet claims that this part of Texas will receive about 10 inches less rain per year than Paducah does on average. That’s a significant decrease for this rain-loving soul.
So today I’ll soak in life, and wait for the days when I have to water my plants myself.