Rooting for Rain

     The other morning when I went down to the forest for a little ‘spirit time,’ I was saddened to see the state of the trees.  Too many days of no rain have left many of them looking unhealthy.  Some of the red maples and tupelos are changing color prematurely.  And the little giant leaves of the little moosewoods are hanging limp.  The earth beneath my feet felt dusty and dry.

     We are longing for rain!  I am posting below a piece  that my husband Andy Schmookler wrote for his website


     by Andy Schmookler 

     I’ve spent a dozen years of my life living in the Southwest.  There was a six-year stretch when I lived in Arizona (Prescott for four, then Tucson for two), and more recently (till a year ago) six years in Albuquerque New Mexico. 

     Living in the dry lands of the Southwest has made me always appreciative of water.  I am almost always in favor of some rain. 

     I understand, from living in the desert, what water means to life.  And that recognition, I figure, should surely shape how we feel about rain.  Water is precious.

     The desert is beautiful.  But there’s not as much life in the desert as in a rain forest.

     I live in a forest now, but I still root for rain.

     Even in the deciduous forest of the Shenandoah Mountains, rain is palpably a nourishment for life. The earth, when it rains, breathes through a myriad of living things.

     Before the water comes, when the weather is dry for days on end, even weeks, the earth holds its breath.  Then when the rain comes, the leaves on the trees and other green creatures exhale out into the world their perfumed essence of plant life-process.  The watered forest –stretching down into the valley and up the next mountain– looks more vibrant, as the trees use the moisture to achieve that sacred purpose, the maintenance of life.

     So when I check in on the weather forecast, I’m almost always hoping for rain.

     It’s true, I admit, when the rain settles in for more than a couple of days, because the low-hanging clouds and dim light weigh on my spirit, I’ll wish for the rain to go away. But save when the earth has already been soaked, and my spirit needs more light, whenever I spy dark and heavy-laden clouds climbing across Great North Mountain, with us in their sites, I celebrate.

     So, on this mountain ridge overlooking a vast forest of mostly oaks and maples and pines and hickory and tupelo and witch hazel and mountain laurel –a forest, yes, but one growing in a climate that, with its 33 inches of precipitation per year, is called “semi-arrid,” — I sit and root for rain. 

     Come, oh blessing.  Come and nourish the earth and all its creatures.

a thirsty little moosewood

a thirsty little moosewood


3 Responses to “Rooting for Rain”

  1. Bruce Says:

    Great that you have a kindred spirit partner who joins you in writing pieces about our connection to mother earth.

    Thanks to him for his word images that evoke natural living processes whenraincomes.


  2. Elizabeth Cottrell Says:

    Beautiful and poignant…I’m rooting too!

  3. Judy Muller Says:

    A beautiful, evocative piece, and April’s observations, too. But I am compelled to put in a word for the desert: the scarcity of water gives me an appreciation for even the smallest sprinkles, and the times when the desert smells like rain, but it may never reach the earth where I stand. I am fascinated by the adaptations of all desert life –plant, bird, mammal, insect — to store water, to survive in times of drought. There is such joy in a full cloudburst, a drenching monsoon, often followed by a rainbow, crowning the celebration. A blessing indeed.

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