The Benevolence of Water Washing Dust

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Even at noon the house is dark.
In my room under the eaves
I hear the steady benevolence
of water washing dust
raised by the haying
from porch and car and garden
and purified, as if tonsured.

The grass resolves to grow again,
receiving the rain to that end,
but my disordered soul thirsts
after something it cannot name.
~Jane Kenyon from “August Rain, After Haying”

 

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A long-awaited string of rainy days have arrived and like the ground and plants, I look skyward letting the clouds drip on me and I am washed of dust.

Will I restore like the brown and dying blade of grass, turning green and lush in a matter of days?

Is there enough benevolence from the sky to cleanse and settle the grime, and still yield more harvest of food and fodder?  Will this replenish my soul enough that I can resolve to grow again?

I thirst for what I cannot name.  The mystery is, I’m filled, left dripping and ready.

 

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Dripping Soft

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A soft day, thank God!
A wind from the south
With a honey’d mouth;
A scent of drenching leaves,
Briar and beech and lime,
White elderflower and thyme,
And the soaking grass smells sweet,
Crushed by my two bare feet,
While the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the eaves.

A soft day, thank God!
The hills wear a shroud
Of silver cloud;
The web the spider weaves
Is a glittering net;
The woodland path is wet,
And the soaking earth smells sweet
Under my two bare feet,
And the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the leaves.
~ Winifred M. Letts (1882-1972), English poet

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The Muttering of Rain

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

…he sought the privacy of rain,
the one time no one was likely to be
out and he was left to the intimacy
of drops touching every leaf and tree in
the woods and the easy muttering of
drip and runoff…
~Robert Morgan from “Working in the Rain”

There has been plenty of muttering, both private and public, over the past few days.  And not all of it is from dripping and runoff into puddles.  Anytime a holiday weekend gets rained out, plenty of people mutter too.

Rain is what makes this part of the world special, but like Camelot,  most would prefer it never fall till after sundown.   To them we live not in a more congenial spot than Camelot.

I may be an oddity, somewhat typical of northwest-born natives.  I celebrate rain whenever it comes, before sundown or after sunrise, as I grew up working outside in the intimacy of a drenching shower, yet am always happy to have an excuse to stay indoors to be putterer more than mutterer.

He could not resist the long
ritual, the companionship and freedom
of falling weather, or even the cold
drenching, the heavy soak and chill of clothes
and sobbing of fingers and sacrifice
of shoes that earned a baking by the fire
and washed fatigue after the wandering
and loneliness in the country of rain.
~Robert Morgan, conclusion of “Working in the Rain”

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten