Despite being in the same region for most of my childhood, I grew up with contrasts of weather.
Almost every summer the banks of Goonoo Goonoo (pronounced Gunny Ganoo) Creek would burst and flow up through the paddocks to our house. If we were not fast enough with sandbags, the water would flow on inside. Thankfully there were usually warnings from farmers further upstream of the flood water approaching.
My folks usually evacuated us until it subsided. It became common for the local newspaper to publish photos of us four children on the tractor, being taken out through the flood water to safety.
Our next farm was struck by severe drought, lasting most of the decade. While school friends headed off to the beach with their families, our holidays were spent sitting on the backs of our horses in scorching summer heat, minding the sheep as they fed off the sides of the roads. There was no longer any food left for them in our own paddocks.
The dams dried up and the well was so low that the windmill no longer pumped water. We dragged bucket after bucket of water up on a rope to fill the trough. We could not do it fast enough for the animals though. They would drink it down before we had started on the next bucket. It was a long process.
Eventually water had to be purchased by the truckload. Around the same time we were dragged off to church for special services put on for the farming communities to pray for rain. Being a teenager seemed a long, tiresome stint at times.
Naturally, a child would prefer being transported on a tractor through flood waters than being dragged off to church to pray for rain, or spending their holidays eating peanut butter sandwiches and drinking green cordial while on horseback, battling it out with the flies for their lunch.
As a result, I have grown to absolutely adore the rain. Living in the tropics at one time was a dream come true, with heavy solid rain every day for months. I never tired of it.
Looking out the window now, I see the creek is flowing well. The sound of rain on the tin roof is heaven and frogs are singing new songs.
I know all about floods and the damage they cause to those living in their path. I do not wish such misfortune on anyone. But it is going to rain anyway, so if you do not need to be considering the safety of your family, then why not just enjoy it?
We are blessed to have access to clean water. As Westerners, we have it very easy. Look at our fellow humans and how difficult a simple thing like a drink of clean, healthy water is to obtain. People’s whole lives revolve around the basics of survival, getting enough food and water to get through each day.
The song of the rain on the roof is always one that nurtures me. Living under a tin roof again, rather than a tiled one, is splendour in the truest sense of the word. I am overwhelmed with gratitude on this gorgeous rainy afternoon.
So before you complain about the rain, or if you are looking to combat someone else’s complaining, here are some points to consider.
1. We would be thirsty. Nothing we drink would exist without water.
2. We would be smelly. With no showers or water to swim in, we would get a tad rough on the nose before too long.
3. We would be very sunburned. No rain means trees don’t grow. No trees mean no shelter. Even mud houses cannot be made without liquid.
4. There would be no flowers. What would a world be like without such beauty? I shudder to think of life without such kisses of colour.
5. We would all be rather quiet. With nothing to drink, our mouths would dry up and provide no saliva. Conversations would surely cease if no liquid substitute were possible.
6. We would be hungry. No rain means no veggies or other delicious healthy food. Or for the carnivores, it means no crops to feed the animals and no water for them to survive anyway.
7. We would have no excuse to stay at home unexpectedly. Many people cannot stay home unless they give themselves permission to. Rain tends to do that for some.
8. We would be mighty unpleasant on the eye. As our bodies are mostly made up of water, if not replaced, we would shrivel up pretty fast….if we managed to live that long, which we wouldn’t. But if we did, we would resemble a prune. Not that there would be any prunes to compare ourselves to. No rain, no prunes.
9. We would have no rainbows, one of the greatest losses of all. How can the sky show us its magical spectrum without water falling?
10. We would be dead, as simple as that, and within a very short time.
So I prefer to rejoice on rainy days. There is little I love more than to watch everything washed clean, to hear the sound of rain falling, and to watch the natural world unfold as it has done for millions of years, long before we came along and started complaining about some clear, wet stuff falling from the sky.
Let us give thanks for rainy days. The sun will shine again. But we need the rain too.
Let us focus on the blessings of rain, rather than the imagined inconvenience of it.
It is a life force we cannot survive without.
And what is so bad about walking in the rain anyway?
Perhaps you will even find yourself jumping in a puddle now and then. But be careful…..it just might be fun.