Updated: Jan 5, 2022
The smell of fresh rain stilled me as I breathed in and listened. There was a peacefulness that wrapped around me providing a sense of safety, protection. Looking out at the tall stately pine whose boughs were bent from the force of wind and the tears of Mother Nature. I’m not sure why, as a child I always saw the rain as tears of nature and it was such an overwhelming belief that I often felt sad and then as all calmed I was newly awakened to fresh new buds on trees or light green blades of grass and let’s not forget the loud chirping of the birds. After the rain it was always like a Celebration of nature at its best. And the smells, oh my, you could smell the cushions and the wood and the pine needles. You could smell the earth, the moisture and the breeze. It was fresh and lovely.
The first memory I have was sitting on a lap. It’s a guess that it was my mother’s but we were sitting on a green and white metal swing with lovely cushions on the front porch of my family home. It was like a sofa that rocked to and fro. Margaret Jane had short hair and was chatting with my mother and another lady who I do not remember. The rain smelled musty. The agreeable breeze kept it blowing away and the boys, Michael and Pete, were catching it in bottles held far out over the driveway. The large front porch had chipped green railings and freshly painted white posts. Welcoming our friends at the top of the four long steps were two large 12” rounded posts stretching up from the painted blue gray wood floor to the white paneled ceiling. Behind us were two or three double hung windows closely connected with sheer curtains that had been criss-crossed and elegantly draped. The door adjacent to the top of the stairs had a large oval window and a screen door that slammed if left on its own.
Mother was constantly cleaning and vacuuming and baking. She carried a large pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade with metal glasses for lack of a better name. They had metallic colors of green, blue and orange. They dripped as the warmth of the metal collided with the chill from the ice. There was laughter and love on the porch that day and many days around that time of my life. There was joy. There was a blanket of protection in the arms and voices. The rain always kept me safe. It started when I was still too young to speak but has been a friend and protector ever since. The rain on River Road taught me to take refuge in nature. To trust what I could sense. What I could feel not with my touch but with all my other senses. The rain, like tears, wash away the grime and soot and allow the buds to grow and the birds to sing. Where would we be in life without the rain.