Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rainy days and Tuesdays

Wet day. Afternoon dog walk ends with soggy dogs and even more soggy dog walker. The clay in the class V aggregate is washing out and into the bordering fields and driveways. Wet, dripping leaves get blown from wet dripping tree limbs. The black dog doesn't want to do his business. He'd rather stand in the drizzle and smell what's on the wet wind. Dog walker represses rage. Black dog circles, and circles and circles and stops and starts and is finally finished. Wet dogs and wet jackets add needed moisture to the indoor air. The house's warmth feels good after standing out in the damp chill. Wet jeans off and hung. Dry jeans on. A rainy Autumn afternoon in Minnesota doesn't need to be shoveled, can't be skied on, helps soil moisture for Spring, makes even normally happy chickadees grumpy. (If you look closely, you can see the rain drips on the bottom of the feeder arm.)

Rainy afternoons in Autumn are time for nostalgia and reading poetry, especially children's poetry. Do you remember the nursery rhymes and how they sounded when Peter, Paul and Mary sang It's Raining?  Alternatively, if I'd had the foresight to make the dough yesterday (which I didn't) it could have been a great afternoon for baking bread to go with this evening's chicken soup.

Everyone in the house has the miseries to one degree or another. Coughs, sore throats, raspy voices, severely diminished energy and generally feeling icky (pardon the technical term). When everyone's feeling like this, it's definitely time to be praying for and working on better, not more. Thinking about yesterday's post and today's reports out of D.C., wouldn't most of us like to see a Washington that worked better, not more of the same? I think Annie Leonard is really on to something. with her Story of Solutions. Kenneth Rexrothe, in a very different way, is on to this weather and time of year.

Falling Leaves and Early Snow

By Kenneth Rexroth

In the years to come they will say,
“They fell like the leaves
In the autumn of nineteen thirty-nine.”
November has come to the forest,
To the meadows where we picked the cyclamen.
The year fades with the white frost
On the brown sedge in the hazy meadows,
Where the deer tracks were black in the morning.
Ice forms in the shadows;
Disheveled maples hang over the water;
Deep gold sunlight glistens on the shrunken stream.
Somnolent trout move through pillars of brown and gold.
The yellow maple leaves eddy above them,
The glittering leaves of the cottonwood,
The olive, velvety alder leaves,
The scarlet dogwood leaves,
Most poignant of all.

In the afternoon thin blades of cloud
Move over the mountains;
The storm clouds follow them;
Fine rain falls without wind.
The forest is filled with wet resonant silence.
When the rain pauses the clouds
Cling to the cliffs and the waterfalls.
In the evening the wind changes;
Snow falls in the sunset.
We stand in the snowy twilight
And watch the moon rise in a breach of cloud.
Between the black pines lie narrow bands of moonlight,
Glimmering with floating snow.
An owl cries in the sifting darkness.
The moon has a sheen like a glacier.
Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, Raves and Reflections served here daily, with a dose of nostalgia on rainy days.