Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An ineffable pleasure

O frabjous joy! It's raining! The perfume of rain after a long and often tediously hot dry spell-- can any smell be more enchanting?

Late this afternoon, as I approached the post office, I felt the faintest of sprinkles caressing my face. All around me, people exchanged looks of hope. One man actually lifted his hands to the sky and said please! please! let it rain! I didn't believe it would. The clouds didn't look dense enough. But I was wrong!

A little later, as I was walking home with a load of groceries from the Madison Market, I fairly danced my way home as the sprinkles became a drizzle. And now, as I prepare for bed, I can hear that soft shushing patter of rain falling on leaves and grass. It's not a big rain. But it pleases the senses.

ETA: Turns out, the rain was substantial: all of a quarter of an inch. The trees and the garden are grateful (even if their thirst is probably not yet slaked).


Nancy Jane Moore said...

It rained here in Austin yesterday -- a couple of days after your rain (perhaps it was the same weather system, moving southeast). The rain cooled things down enough that I was able to turn off the AC and open the windows for the first time in a couple of months. I slept fine with open windows and fans. Of course, it's supposed to top 100 again today, so I'll have to turn the AC back on pretty soon -- above 100 it doesn't matter if it's dry heat or wet heat: it's just too damn hot.

Timmi Duchamp said...

Anent "dry heat" vs "wet heat": when my mother lived in Arizona, she adopted the mantra that because it's a "dry heat" it wasn't bad-- even when the thermometer in her well-shaded back patio reached 105. (My response? It's the difference between baking and steaming. Either way, do it long enough & vegetable & animal tissues break down.)

It's been pleasant here since that first rain-- & this afternoon we had more. Rain in the summer was never refreshing when I lived in New Orleans, never tempted me to turn off the AC. But here! It's a completely different story.

Nancy Jane Moore said...

It is finally raining here -- the most significant rain I've seen in Austin since I moved back here at the beginning of 2008. Much as I love the sun, this rain is a huge relief. I hope it means that the drought is on its way out, and that we'll start getting regular rain.

I find 95 in a dry climate much more bearable than 85 with high humidity, but above 100 it really doesn't make any difference. It's hard to breathe when it's that hot. We had 60-some-odd days above 100 this year -- the record is 69, and I don't think we broke it, but we came close.