Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rain in Summer


How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

The sick man from his chamber looks
At the twisted brooks;
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again,
And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures, and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.

These, and far more than these,
The Poet sees!
He can behold
Aquarius old
Walking the fenceless fields of air;
And from each ample fold
Of the clouds about him rolled
Scattering everywhere
The showery rain,
As the farmer scatters his grain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Those of us who got rain yesterday cannot help but celebrate its long awaited arrival during this hot, dry summer. (see Cathy's post) We received about 30 mm of light, steady rain yesterday over several hours (just over an inch) and it was most welcomed by our local farmers who have almost drained their irrigation ponds over the past weeks. In June and July, 77 mm of rain fell at our local airport, which is less than half of normal. Much of it was in the form of scattered thunderstorms, with short, heavy rainfalls and an uneven distribution in the region. Today it remains hot and humid with a tropical jungle feel to the atmosphere.
I was talking to my mother last evening. She was visiting our daughter in the northern part of Mexico where it is very desert-like and dusty most of the time. They have had an exceptional amount of rain and she told me the water was knee deep in some parts of the city. Of course the hard ground there does not absorb rainfall readily. When I was there last year, I didn't see a drop of water in any of the river beds and wadis.
I stood in the hospital courtyard yesterday and took the picture above, not minding the rain falling on my bare head and arms. If I were a child, I would have had an excuse to jump in the puddles and get thoroughly soaked. I like the (abridged) poem by Longfellow which reminds us that seasons of drought do come and that rain in summer can be a most welcome event.


  1. We had a bit of rain yesterday too and it is still quite overcast this a.m.

    Looks like a lovely hospital that you work in. I worked in hospitals too, the last half of my working life, but doing payroll, benefits and some H.R.

  2. We had no rain yesterday - just extremely hot and humid - but the thunderstorms moved through last night. I love listening to rain falling in the night..very soothing.

  3. Such a wonderful poem and I just love the summer rain!

  4. Very Nice Poem, but I'm still waiting.-Especially since it will make conditions better for shore birds in farm fields!

  5. CS- I would imagine that you get more rain in BC than we do. I do work in a beautiful hospital on 17 acres of even more beautiful land adjacent to a river. Makes every work day a pleasure!

    LauraO- I am surprised the rain missed you. It seemed like a big system. It is hot a steamy here!

    Monarch- I thought the poem was very appropriate too. Summer rain, without thunder and lightning is fine with me.

    Larry- I noticed far more birds and butterflies out today. Thinks were very quiet in the dry heat.

  6. Ruth - Oh I love the Longfellow poem. You know - your letting the rain fall on your bare arms and head - memories of childhood and splashing around in puddles - it makes me think we need to do this the next time it rains.

  7. We were teased for a few weeks with some, but we're back to a dry pattern once again with the temps way too high as well. Come on fall...

  8. Anonymous6:48 am GMT-4

    Oh I just love rain... My mom says that when I was little I would run to the window first thing every day to see the weather. Rain got me more excited than any other condition. That's (usually) true to this day.

  9. Our Moms allowed us to play in the rain, barefoot, and splashing. I'd do it today if it would rain...

    Great post, Ruth.

  10. Cathy- And Singing in the Rain is one of my favourite musicals

    Jayne- Your weather is so hot, it makes me tired reading about it.

    Jennifer- A warm rain is always welcome. I can do without freezing rain!

    Mary- Wishing both you and Jayne rain and cooler temps!

  11. Hi Ruth,
    I'm so glad you finally got some rain!

  12. I love the colors and composition of that picture!

  13. Thanks Kim. I upped the contrast of the photo to make the colours stand out. I like this fountain in the courtyard.


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