What the Rain *can’t* Do

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.

Digital illo: Let It Rain, Mon

Let it rain, Mon.

9 thoughts on “What the Rain *can’t* Do

    • Dontcha just feel a song coming on already?! Hope you’re getting appropriate amounts of rain. It’s weird and unsettling how rapidly and thoroughly the weather patterns of the past seem to be changing. Drought all down the west coast, that crazy winter in the upper midwest and northeast, and now we in the last few years’ drought zone are getting buckets of rain off and on, with a dash of flash flooding and tornado warnings thrown into the mix, in case it wasn’t unpredictable and oddball enough. Can’t tell the players without a program. Whatever you’re getting, stay safe and comfy!

  1. I enjoyed reading this post, for some reason I don’t understand. Maybe because it was about rain. And it brought back memories of times when I used to listen to good old country vibes from Dan Seals: all we need is a good rain and the troubles of this world will all wash away. I still think he’s right, a different kind of rain☺

    • Yes indeed, a different kind of rain! Hard to beat the solace of a good rainy day sometimes, but especially when it’s helping to cure drought (even for the short term). And especially when it’s accompanied by any kind of good music!

  2. This was such a complete and full circle post, and I really enjoyed reading it. As we become ever more aware of the growing problem of drought and the lack of water, and how climate change and fracking practices are affecting this precious resource, the presence of an abundant rainy season can temporarily hold the promise of respite, but we all know it’s a temporary solution to a seriously escalating problem. Texas and California will probably be the frontrunners in seeing how this next chapter plays out, and from the looks of it, if we don’t drastically change something soon, the result is not going to be good. Generations to come are counting on us to act today.

    As far as how the rain can affect our moods, and how the gift of music can help us alter our frame of mind, both are incredibly accurate. I can’t imagine living in some place where it rains all the time, or where the skies are usually dark and gloomy. That just wouldn’t work for me. Considering that I still have difficulty while living under the bright summer skies of Texas, I know better than to attempt to live someplace where the sun rarely shines. Your description of how music, even when taken in small bites and slow increments, can alter our mood and lift our spirits, was spot on. Sometimes I’ll find myself searching youtube for some soulful and sad song, only to end up finding my way to something peppy and light and carefree. Music heals our heart in ways that are hard to describe. Such a great post. Really.

    • Heehee! You covered even more ground in your comment than I did in the post, and beautifully, too! But yes, there are many Issues that will require our attentions in the near future under these various headings. Have you been getting most of the same storm systems down your way lately? They’ve certainly seemed to stretch pretty far before ever getting here, particularly during this last bout or two, and to go on for fairly long times. More expected here in the next couple of days. Glad I got a window-of-opportunity this afternoon to do a little flowerbed cleaning and pruning and stuff, between the rainy spells. It was definitely looking more gloomy and overcast again when we came out of tonight’s concert, so I won’t be surprised even to wake to another little lake or river or two around the house tomorrow. Which is okay, as long as it doesn’t keep anybody from getting to dress rehearsal in the evening or the Collegium/Baroque Orch concert Friday. 😀 I don’t think there will be so much on the soulful-sad side in this one, but if you want to catch any of the live stream, it’s at 8 Friday; I know they’re doing London-centric stuff, including some Purcell and Handel, so it should be purty. 😀 And whether it rains where you are or not, I expect your birds will give you some good serenading as long as you sit still by the feeders. 🙂

      • Verbosity is one of my super powers. No cape needed, just lots of words. 🙂

        Yes, we’ve been getting hit pretty hard with the heavy rains, off and on, which is totally unusual for our part of Texas. Everything is so saturated right now that it’s just running off, causing some intermittent flooding and lots of breeding ponds for skeeters. Considering that we live in the land of eight-month summers, we’re totally NOT equipped to handle these over-generous portions of rain, but then again, we never say no to more H2O around these parts. It’s been odd to see so much rain. After living in this region for years and years, it’s one of the wettest March-April showers I’ve ever seen, really.

        Thanks for the heads up on the concert. I’m actually back to doing some volunteering with hospice, but might see if I can catch it on the laptop this evening. Hope you have a good Friday. Wear your rubber boots. 🙂

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