Monsoons!

Drenched Sunfower

When the rainfall started last Saturday, Jim and I were sitting down to dinner (stir fry, made largely with zucchini, peppers, and eggplant from our garden).  We traded guarded looks, but said nothing, just in case we might scare the rain away.

Then the rainfall picked up, accompanied by thunder and lightning.  We slid the porch door closed, and went on with our meal.  As I was finishing off my second helping, I slid open the porch door long enough to confirm that the rain was easing off.  So was the electrical storm.

I pushed my plate back, got my umbrella (which dates back to when I still lived in Virginia, over twenty-five years ago; umbrellas don’t get worn out very fast here), and went out to check.  All of the thirty-gallon trash barrels under the downspouts, bone dry an hour before, were overflowing.  I got a bucket, and started transferring water from barrel under the most wildly gushing downspout (the one on the northeast side), and started shifting it to the overflow containers.

Once I adjusted to the temperature and damp, I put the umbrella aside so I could work faster.  Who cared if I got wet?  This was rain!

I was into my rhythm—scoop, turn, dump—when Jim came out and got to work lowering the level of the southeast barrel.  By then, I’d more or less caught up with the torrent from the downspout and, bucket in hand, darted around to the west side of the house.

Once I’d filled the overflow container on that side, I started running buckets of water to our younger trees.  Yes.  It was still raining, but I knew that even just a few inches below the surface our sandy soil would be dry.  Best to replenish the area.

Eventually, we’d filled every container we could spare, storing roughly 200 gallons of rainwater. Then, dripping wet and ridiculously pleased, we came inside.  Later, when the rain had stopped, Jim went out and checked the rain gauge: six-tenths of an inch of rain.

Six-tenths of an inch of rain may not sound very exciting to you, but where I live, that’s a major event.  This was by far the most we’ve had at one time this year.  The runner up was back in late June when, for four very odd days, we apparently traded climates with the Pacific Northwest.  Then our cumulative rainfall for four days was a quarter of an inch.

As I type this, it’s drizzling again.  I find myself wondering if I can find a spare bucket somewhere…  Maybe it’s time to go get rained on again.

I think I will…  And I’ll leave you with a question.  How is this also about an aspect of the craft of writing?

8 Responses to “Monsoons!”

  1. amandajoyr Says:

    Do you mean that when it rains it pours? When the ideas come you need to take advantage of them.

    I do love your writing style. Just read about your evening with Jim brings a smile to my face. I’ve never caught rain in a bucket before, but I could feel myself there with you drenched.

  2. James Mendur Says:

    Not just writing but life.

    When you’re stuck, whether creatively or on the business end, it seems like you can’t find a drop to sustain you. When you’re flowing, all of a sudden you have ideas for a dozen other stories and so many business opportunities come pouring out of the sky that you might actually have to say no to a few of them because all your buckets are full. The key is knowing how much you can really handle and what to do with the overflow – such as redirecting it to others who need a drop.

    It also refers to writing money, which very often also comes not at all or all at once. When it comes pouring in, the temptation is to let it slip through your fingers for the sheer joy of having it to spend. But that is the time to use what you need for necessities, then get out the buckets to save as much as you can, and THEN enjoy the rest.

    Caveat: I am not a professional writer but that’s what I’ve learned from listening to professional writers for the last 30-odd years.

    • janelindskold Says:

      That’s very nice. I like how you tie in the business aspect. It’s absolutely true that a writer’s income flow is “lumpy” (as my accountant likes to put it), and learning to manage money is a valuable survival skill.

  3. nola94 Says:

    So glad you got an unexpected gift of rain!
    Sometimes when you’re trying to write things flood out of you, but more often words emerge at their leisurely “petty pace.” Enjoy the weather, it will certainly change soon enough-

  4. HelixRook Says:

    Ah I hope that means rain is headed my way as well. One can hope, right?

    Writing is a reflection of life, whether a reflection of reality or a reflection of what we want/don’t want in reality.

    The experience of bailing water you described brought me back to a simple, happy place—strange though it is. The experience reminded me of stories that brought me comfort as a child, though I couldn’t say why.

    It gave me moment to reflect on the melancholy week I’ve had and reminded me to appreciate the rain, something I haven’t been able to do despite the ample amount we’ve had here this month. I always found inspiration in a monsoon building up around me and finally releasing to cool off the air and bring relief to the pressure in my head.

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