This rainy Sunday morning

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” – Langston Hughes

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.”  – Bill Watterson

Generally speaking, rain is good. Unless there’s too much of it. Unless it appears on the day scheduled for a picnic, a hike, an outdoor wedding, or perhaps a war.

Jupiter Images graphic

None of those activities were penciled into this morning’s calendar, so I’m writing and reading (with coffee rather than tea) with the sound of its lullaby. Perhaps I’ll doze in my chair. That can happen. I probably won’t go outside and walk in it or ride a bike in it–aiming for the best puddles on the road–because I don’t do that any more, though I probably should.

As usual, the morning news is filled with discouraging words, mostly plots within plots, and–to roughly paraphase Victor Hugo–the deaf keeping the blind informed. The rain washes all of that away for a while. Perhaps I’m dozing in my chair now, dreaming about writing a post that mentions rain and the deaf leading the blind. If only.

If you’re inclined to love magic, you probably have noticed that rivers, oceans, and rain facilitate intuition, communication with Spirit, and writing letters or novels about magical moments. I write better on rainy days and Mondays than when the sun is out. On rainy days, one can dream without falling asleep, the perfect prescription for poets, novelists, mystics, and lovers.

The two horses at the farm across the road are munching grass up near the fence line. I’m tempted to walk over there and give each of them a wet apple and scratch their wet-horse-smelling heads. But my wife has saved the few remaining apples in the bowl for a pie and I really don’t want to have to explain where they went. Nonetheless, the horses are part of the rainy morning and it’s a comfort seeing them there, dreaming perhaps whatever horses dream in the medium of water.

John Updike wrote somewhere that “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth.” Yes it is. When I was young, I collected rainwater for my aquariums, mother collected it for her gentle plants, years ago people saved it in cisterns as a defense against droughts. Conjure woman collect rainwater for spell work. Farmers and gardeners pray for it before everything they care about dries up. Rain is both a prayer and an answer to prayer. As some say, rain is good medicine.

When the worst flood in recent history hit northwestern Montana in June 1964, a Blackfeet elder was quoted as saying the deluge was too much good medicine. I was there and I remember that rain and thought of it as Mother Nature on drugs or, as one newspaper headlined, “Mother Nature Turns Outlaw.” Floods tend to give rain a bad name until the next drought. There’s no lullaby or kiss in a flood.

The creek below our house floods one of the two roads into town when there’s too much rain. I’m not sure what the cows think of that. I drive my old Buick through it because that’s an adult’s way of remembering what it was to be a kid on a bike in a rain storm. I’m no longer a fan of muddy trousers and shoes, so I tend to stay away from fields of standing water unless the cows get out and then when it comes down to it, getting wet no longer matters until we’re done chasing and herding all of the cattle back inside their fences. You haven’t lived a complete life until you’ve chased black cattle on a black rainy night. Cattle will make a fair mess of your yard if they get into it during a rain storm. I don’t see any magic in that.

But this morning, the cattle are inside the fence because the fence is relatively new and sturdy and follows the rise and fall of the land perfectly enough to cover over the places where cows shinnied under the barbed wire or jumped over it. So, this morning I’m content with my coffee and books without having to check outside ever once in a while to see how many of the cows are on the road stopping traffic.

It’s been a comfortable morning for lullabies and dreams and for dozing in a chair while pretending to read a book.

Malcolm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Frank Conversation With Mother Nature About the Rain

Me: Baby Cakes, I want to talk about the rain. There’s been so much of it.

Mother Nature: Frank, what the hell are you saying? Malcolm is the only man on the planet allowed to call me “Baby Cakes.”

Me: My name isn’t “Frank.” I’m speaking frankly.

MN: I thought only Frank could speak frankly just as I’m the only one who can speak mother naturedly.

Me: English is a strange language.

More rain today

MN: Look, Toots–I hope it’s okay to call you “Toots” for old time’s sake–global warming is tangling up the planet’s cycles of heat and cold, rain and sun, and Coke vs. Pepsi.

Me: The rain, though, is keeping me from mowing the yard. Soon, the grass will be so high I’ll tear up the mower trying to cut it.

MN: Your writer friend Smoky wants you to get sheep to handle the grass cutting duties.

Me: Sheep, quite frankly, are just too sheepish.

MN: That sounds like something a guy named Frank would say.

Me: The thing is, sheep are more expensive than a lawn mower.

MN: That’s probably true. Nonetheless, I’m working hard to get the planet under control, and that’s not easy to do when–too put it frankly–so many people don’t mind p_ssing in their own pools and s_itting where they eat.

Me: Well said, Baby Cakes.

MN: What time do you get off work?

Me: I’m married. We can no longer meet behind the barn like we did when I was in college.

MN: Barns have changed since then, what with the hay being made a mess with pesticides and GMO tinkering. Maybe you can do something about that. Next time you update your blog, say something about the clowns who think climate change doesn’t exist, that fast food is really food, and that mayo should be slathered all over a hamburger.

Me: If I say something about climate change, will you give me a sunny afternoon and evening so I can mow the yard?

MN: Toots, I’m working on it. If only you weren’t married: we could make beautiful weather together.

Me: Aw, shucks, Baby Cakes, you’re making me cry.

MN: Me, too, and my tears are what you call rain.

Me: Oops.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell’s new short story is now live in Kindle, Kobo and iTunes.

 

So far, I haven’t gotten any rainy day Christmas Cards

Other than those photo-filled Christmas cards showing children or entire families posing with false smiles in the high grass over the septic tank, most of this year’s card show Santa, bright red cardinals in winter scenes, people hauling Christmas trees through the snow, and a variety of snowflakes and colored lights.

This red does look a little bit Christmassy.

This red does look a little bit Christmassy.

None of them have rain in them. This proves, I think, that our current north Georgia complex rain event–as the weather service is calling it–is illegal. The rain started last night and will run through Friday with a chance of flooding along creeks and rivers.

Sure, we’ve decorated the house with colorful lights, garlands and wreathes, but somehow all that isn’t as festive as it could be if we had legal solstice weather. And that bright moon we’re supposed to have for Christmas? Right, it will be covered up by clouds.

So far, CNN isn’t calling this “breaking news” like everything else they show and that’s just got to be a conspiracy. If Donald Trump were doing a rain dance, CNN would be covering it live. But, apparently he isn’t. So, nobody’s looking into our rain, Christmas-wise or conspiracy-wise.

christmasweathermapYeah, I know, the Grinch probably did it and, at the same time, appears to have given me a touch of the flu. It’s hard to feel merry when you’re swigging down TheraFlu.

But, far be it from me to rain on your Christmas and make you feel guilty for your great weather or your beautiful snow-covered yard with a redbird in the middle of if. Have a merry Christmas under star-spangled skies and a full moon. Enjoy the magic of it.

Truth be told, this still feels like a magical week to me in spite of all this water. The spirit of giving is a strong one, and I’m always inspired by memories of my younger days when I found unexpected surprises beneath the tree.

Happy Yule, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, and Happy Solstice.

–Malcolm

Idle thoughts about ‘Sex, Rain, and Cold Fusion’

Sex, Rain, and Cold FusionSex, Rain, and Cold Fusion by A.R. Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book fits into the “clever” and “hoot” genres and/or categories. It rocks and rolls from beginning to end with characters, events and language usage that are off-the-scale nuts.

In many ways, the plot–which is deliciously tangled–doesn’t matter because we’re all along for the ride and where we end up doesn’t matter. . .it’s one of those “the journey is more important than the destination” kind of books, er, in a wry way.

My only cautionary words are these: reading this book is rather like eating a cake that’s 99% frosting. You feel guilty but you keep doing it anyway.

View all my reviews

You can learn more about the author of this book on her website.

 

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire,” a comedy/satire that is also flat nuts.