Friday, February 05, 2010

At long last

It does me good it does to see such a wet, stormy winter. Not wet and stormy enough, but I will be thankful for what is. Won't help our severely depleted water supply, decimated by years of drought, but rain means hope, and winter isn't over yet.

I happened to be in the UK this winter, for the first time, in, well, I don't quite remember, but a long time. It never ceases to amaze me how different rain feels there. Yes, rain is a big deal here and it rains all year round there, granted, but that's not it.

It's the light, the way the grey, dark buildings there just seem so oppressive in the grey, wet weather. Here, even with the storm clouds clamping down darkening even the usually bright Mid Eastern noon, there seems to be a glimmer, a luminosity, something in the light Jerusalem stone and whitewashed stucco that brightens the gloom.

Then there is the smell. The rain just smells different here, don't know why, but it does. Wonderfully fresh, vibrant, envigorating. There it just seems to smell of wet overcoats and petrol laced puddles.

More than anything though is the excitement. The way kids long to make use of their umbrellas and wellies, only useful for a few short months a year. I guess it's the way kids in England hope for snow. The anticipation of the first rains of the season is one thing, but each and every rainful during the short wet season is welcomed for the miracle of life that it brings.

Yes, this is the land of uncertainty, the slope of the volcano where anything can happen, where the fragile balance of the natural world feels more palpable than in many other places, but that is also why I think we feel more accutely God's presence on this earth, where the difference between life and death is dependent on a few paltry months of rain