in school history books, and cheesy movies, you learned about those ancient (and not so ancient) civilizations whose agricultural practices made them dependent upon fickle precipitation, and even more fickle gods. the rituals, the sacrifices, the offerings to appease the powers that were. anything for rain, anything for fertile fields and a promise of a full harvest.
how strange, yes? how strange to imagine someone high in the sky, debating whether or not to roll up their sleeves and wring out the clouds. but working with farmers through a dry season, my relationship to rainfall has changed. because now everything–everything–depends on that rain.
where i once saw puddling obstacles, or traffic jams, or the lowly absence of an umbrella, even a pleasant summer thunderstorm, i now see hope, and sprouting sprouts, and tremendous relief. when the wind gathers speed and the drops begin to fall i am elated, beyond thrilled, as are my colleagues. because we would give almost anything for rain, for fertile fields, for a promise of a full harvest.
and i can imagine – i can just see it – someone chuckling behind that storm cloud, rolling down their sleeves, pleased as punch at another job well done.
**side note: this is one of the most beautiful blogs out there about farming, among other pursuits, including hunting, foraging, and getting along in life. phenomenal photography and prose. no relation, no kickbacks, just a ton of admiration.