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Summer Rain

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One of life's simplest moments: the approaching of the first few drops of a summer rain. That it was coming, all along, and had been predicted since mid-morning, by neighbors pointing to the dark western sky, and by the agitation of robins, and the unusual silence of cicadas - all that was conceded, and understood, while the rain itself would be welcomed, for it would cool the trees and the houses and the grass, and nourish the creatures of the earth in its invisible and lasting way.

Certainly it was expected, and yet as I sat there reading, being drawn into a faraway world, I had entirely forgotten the roof and the porch, and the parched streets, and even the increased tempo of the wind blowing through the trees - and suddenly there it was, that sound, those drops scattering, nothing overwhelming, just the announcement, the presence, of rain come at last.

It is a summer rain, too, which is of course the best kind. Rain is too slow and drizzly in the spring, too cold and unforgiving in autumn. Only in summer does it rain for five or ten minutes, allow the sun to come out and turn everything fresh and vibrant, and then rain again, and make thunder, too, as if to show that such weather has come for the afternoon, and has many moods to express, and additional nooks and crannies to explore.

But it is the coming of the first drops that concerns me here, for invariably I forget that sound, and with equal inevitability I remember, when I first hear it, those summers long ago, when I lived in the little village of By, which was just up the road from Thomery, and not far from Moret, on the high left bank of the Seine, where all the houses were made of gray stone, and all the streets were irregular and narrow and wound their way along the ridge overlooking the river.

During those long and peaceful summers rain came out of the vast Forest of Fontainebleau, immediately behind our house, with the regularity of deer or even peccaries wandering into someone's garden, browsing for a while, then moving on, down the slope to the bridge, across the broad presence of the river, and up the other side. Rain came along those cobbled streets, and off those tiled roofs, and ran from those lead gutters and ancient downspouts.

Rain came through the branches of the great chestnut trees lining the streets, and found its way into narrow vineyards contained within the stone walls, where the villagers grew a special kind of white dessert grape that was available only from experienced growers who lived in that little town - persons who had been raising such grapes for decades, and who passed on their green secrets from father to son, mother to daughter, down through the generations.
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Summer Rain
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: art,memory,music
Jazib Kamalvi 13 April 2017

Wonderful rhythm of rain in prose. Thanks

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Rajnish Manga 12 April 2017

It is a wonderful portrayal. It has everything- nature, history and sweet memories. Thanks for sharing: 'predicted.. by neighbors. and by the agitation of robins, and the unusual silence of cicadas.. The notes and the drops of rain made a music'.

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