Meeting a New Face of Rain
Autumn has come here to Maryland, and the way it has made itself felt is by a change in the quality of the rain that has been a frequent visitor for many months. This has been a very rainy year, though my area has been lucky in that we've not experienced the damaging flooding that other parts of the country have experienced. LIke many people, though, ever since Katrina I look to weather pattern changes for evidence of a more fundamental shift in the way nature works. Not only are our communities and our crops shaped by climate, so is our culture. In many regions, the rainy season is woven in with traditions, celebrations, and literature. How will we be different as our environment changes? Places where rain becomes scarce will have a new veneration for its appearance, while locales that experience too much of it will see the destructive face of moisture.
The Rainy Day
by Rabindranath Tagore
Sullen clouds are gathering fast over the black fringe of the
O child, do not go out!
The palm trees in a row by the lake are smiting their heads
against the dismal sky...
The rain-water is
running in rills through the narrow lanes like a laughing boy who
has run away from his mother to tease her...
The sky seems to ride fast upon the madly rushing rain; the
water in the river is loud and impatient; women have hastened home
early from the Ganges with their filled pitchers...
The wind is roaring and struggling among the bamboo
branches like a wild beast tangled in a net.