For about thirty days there was no rain in the Muskoka area. “great summer”” good boating weather!” ” good for haying” and then a little concern “for the farmers”, more frequent watering of flowers and veggies, some uneasiness, more attention to the weather forecast, grumbling about the ban on bonfires. As the hot and brilliant days followed one another, a lassitude set in. It became tiresome to go out in a wide-brimmed hat to face the ever-blazing sun hanging every day in an ever-cloudless sky. The creek dried up. The grass turned brown. The birch trees, delicate as young slender girls, began to drop yellow leaves. The house kept dark to thwart the relentless heat, seemed gloomy. Impossible to read or write, each breath a chore. Cold meals were scratched together and many showers taken in the sulphur-scented well water. Waiting, impatiently, anxiously, a little indignantly. We worried about the frogs living in an ever receding patch of mud that was all that remained of the creek and a little dark shadow of panic hung about. Perhaps it would never rain again.
Then on Friday the scent of pines was more distinct and the air ” smelled of rain”. During the night a light sleeper was awoken by the tap of drops on a metal sheet below the window. A comforted smile and a turn under the white cover. Then morning revealed a damp landscape. All day Saturday it rained a steady moderate rain – no torrents to wash everything away. It was ” just right”
isaac the Syrian wrote in he sixth century,” what is a merciful heart? It is the heart’s burning for the sake of the entire creation, for man, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears…….his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. ”
So our care and worry about the frogs and the grass and the birch trees was well founded. It is a good and natural instinct, I think to be happy when a gentle rain comes to soothe that little corner of Muskoka that was parched. It seemed strange to hear someone in the bus say their weekend had been spoiled because it rained.