Sunday July 5
The weather has broken. I hurried to my writing-shed, rain falling on my shoes. Once inside I was able to savour the incomparable sound of rain falling on a roof while the person who listens to it stays dry. It’s something that takes us back to the dawn of humankind, or even beyond. I remember watching an orang-utan construct a nest for the night: did he feel the same sense of smugness and snugness as rain fell on the leaves that protected him? Impossible to believe that he didn’t.
So I sat in my hut and listened to life falling from the sky in big drops. A blackbird sang a melodic accompaniment, a sedge warbler gave a burst of song from the marsh and a dunnock threw in his own hurried but heartfelt contribution. A fragment, somewhat more tuneful, from blackcap.
I love these moments when we can feel the earth stirring beneath us: moving on from one stage to another. The sun that brought out butterflies in big numbers is taking a break, the rain that makes the flowers grow had taken its place, and the butterflies will sup from those flowers when the sun returns.
Population figures show that more than half of humanity are now city-dwellers. When I lived in London I resented rain. Then I moved to the country, I had meadows for horses to graze on and I needed the grass to grow or the horses would starve Rain was revealed as a thing of kindness and beauty and wonder.
I understood then that to resent rain is a kind of blasphemy. To feel joy at rainstorm — not as an intellectual choice but as a gut-deep delight – is to understand the nature of life on earth. We need to reconnect with this.
Lovely day, isn’t it?
Oh yes – really tipping it down…