Rain, Rain Go Away
Oh please, don’t come back another day.
As Thady, my dog and I walked up the drive to the field gate for his early
morning walk, the snowdrops smiled at us as we past. They seemed to know
they were earlier than expected, and that another soaking was imminent. We
were serenaded from within our Yew tree, which protectively stands to the
front. It also feeds many of our birds in the autumn and provides roosting for
much of the year. The music from the Yew is premature and exquisite, she
repeats her bars of music with perfect pitch. The thrush is a glorious composer.
I cannot see her but I know she is watching me as the singing stops as I reach
the Yew, but she begins a new aria as soon as we pass. She is singing from
dawn to dusk each day, and often sings from the top of the ash, watching my
This morning the lifeless sky in the west hovered over a mist sitting on a
sodden field in the distance. It was so low I momentarily wondered if it was
frost or even snow. To the east the sky was decorated a Farrow and Ball pink,
the brush strokes clear. I looked down momentarily and in those seconds the
beautiful art work had been covered by lumpen cloud. Just in seconds.
As Thady and I walked down the side of the fields we saw that new streams
had emerged overnight. Now water ran softly downwards, bubbling and
frothing as it joined the swollen Wye below. As I looked closely the tips of
newly emerged daffodils were being washed as the water flowed over and
around them. There are hundreds more beneath this squelching field, they
form a glorious carpet, and each morning in the spring I return from our walks
with my trug full of these fresh-faced flowers.
As I stood looking around me on this dreary day I could hear what I described
to myself as an orchestra. There were so many levels of sounds. The drums
were represented by the roar of water racing down the gully beside the house,
flowing with gusto beneath the remains of the fallen oak which provides a
bridge. The cymbals crashed as cars in the lane drove through flooding, tossing
walls of water into the air. Our dainty stream at the top of the garden broke
its bank, a torrent reached our waterfall and then fell dramatically into our
dingle. The sound of the rain which was growing in volume and strength was
reaching a crescendo, above this the thrush sang her solo, accompanied by less
powerful voices, but well deserving members of the choir. The robins and blue
tits formed the chorus, their little mouths opening and closing, their bodies
moving with the effort of their song. The soloist continued.
I had left my waterproofs at my sons and so the rain, which was falling with
ever more enthusiasm seeped through my coat, my moomin hat fell further
over my eyes and steamed up my glasses the more sodden it became. When
will it stop? After concentrating on remaining vertical as I navigated the red
bog between the two fields I realized I was alone. Thady had gone. I prayed
he had not sneaked off to play with the badgers. I called. I shouted. I looked.
I stomped up the field, sliding and squelching which was accompanied by
a loud sucking noise from my wellingtons as I struggled not to sink. I reached
the gate and strode down the drive, soaked, still alone and there, in the porch,
out of the rain, dancing impatiently in front of the front door was my terrier.
He wagged his tail joyfully, almost leaning into the door with longing to escape
this endless rain.
“All right Thady, you win,” I said as I opened the door. We both dripped all over
the hall floor, as I got his towel, yet again.
Oh, rain, rain, please go away.