Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Rain is Like an Old Friend

I sat alone at lunch today and looked out the window at the falling rain. The sky looked like it was covered by a fuzzy grey blanket. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a slow soaking rain.

My mind drifted back to when I was a child in West Pratt. Our house sat up high off the ground on cinder blocks pillars and I spent many rainy days under the front porch with my dog Boss. I kept toy cars, army men, tractors and boats under there. I must have built a thousand miles of dirt roads with bridges and underpasses. When I’d get tired of building, there would be some kind of wreck or natural calamity that would take out a bridge and injure the plastic men horribly. It was not uncommon for those workers under there to lose an arm or a leg and sometimes a head.

I also loved just sitting under there and watching the rain. The old sycamore and cottonwood trees in the yard were natural shelters for all kinds of birds and other critters.

When the rain stopped falling, I would go to a small creek that flowed near our house and I would float leaves, sticks, and crude handmade boats down the bubbling creek.

There was a culvert that allowed the water from that little creek to flow under the road that ran in front of our house.

I’ve spent a lot of hours in that “tunnel” too. It had a funny echo and the water made an almost metallic sound as it made its way through. On the other side of the road, the culvert poured into a small pool of water that was full of frogs, water-bugs, and craw dabs (not sure if that’s a word but that’s what we called them). It was its own biosphere. I sat in that tunnel and dreamed about what I would do when I grew up.

Many years later when I started to work for The Community News as a photographer and writer, I did a little story about that tunnel and I shot a black and white photograph of my younger brother in there. It holds a fond place in my memory.

I’ve heard people curse the rain and to be honest, back when I had to work outside, I wasn’t that fond of it either, but nowadays I welcome the rain like an old friend.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That great culvert photo put a lump in my throat. Brings back the whole Community News experience. Those were the days.

    Speaking of rain, I heard a Buddhist proverb a while back that I really liked:

    "Sometimes, when it rains, the best course of action is to let it."

    Amen. Strange, that it's taken me 50 years to learn how to do that.


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