We have been fortunate, in north Texas, to get more than the expected doses of rain in the last number of months. It has gone some distance toward ameliorating the statewide drought’s effects on our county and nearby zones. The lakes have risen a little. The trees are breathing an almost audible sigh of relief. The locals swoon over the magical burst of wildflowers every bit as delightedly as the tourists do.
But it’s no perfect cure. A good rain can’t solve all of the world’s ills. The local drought is not isolated or ended but creeping through the nation in an ominous reflection of the receding polar ice caps, drought that is strangely now becoming a pestilence even on the more typically misty and moist California coast and Pacific Northwest. And there are still countries the world over suffering from much longer and deeper droughts.
Rainy weather can, on a smaller scale, also darken the skies of many individuals’ moods, bring soggy sorrow to brows usually brighter with cheer. It can both literally and figuratively dampen the parade of plans made by folk who rely on sunny weather for their sunny spirits and can seemingly call a halt to normalcy in zones like my home region, where a little struggle for water is generally to be expected. Any stretch of overcast and rain longer than 24 hours sends herds of north Texans running around, mooing nervously like it’s the End of Days in the Old West.
Still, rain can’t kill moods and expectations and obliterate optimism without our consent. While I’ve been moody and something of a little black cloud myself lately, being in the proverbial phrase ‘under the weather‘ (in the non-alcoholic version), I was reminded of this submissive and defeatist, even compliant, element when listening to the web-streamed broadcast of the university jazz concert I didn’t feel well, or wakeful, or cheery, enough to attend last night. The vocal and instrumental interlacing of familiar and wonderful jazz tunes lifted my mood more than the start of my medication kicking in had managed to do. They led me to listen to other upbeat music, from further jazz classics to pop, drumline rhythms, and one of those sorts of music that I find is fairly impossible to hear without breaking into a crooked grin: reggae.
It would seem, on reflection, that among those things rain cannot accomplish is keeping a good reggae number from cheering me up, and that is something I will happily and readily forgive the rain for failing to do.