...rain. It was pouring when I returned from Maryville about half past noon. It has rained off and on during the day. What a grace of God: "Thou visitest the earth and waterest it, thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water." (Aufdemberge's setting, learned 25 years ago and more at Bronxville, ringing in my ears).
But even when it is welcome and the earth has been aching for it, thirsting for it, it brings the spirit down. And that despite the fact that I love to hear it pounding on the roof and spilling out of the gutters and hitting the windows. When Goldberry's washing day comes, it seems a perfect day for melancholy thoughts and sitting about, telling old stories and thinking of the past.
For me, the memory that always stirs is sometime in my childhood. Our little house at 2719 Munson Street in Wheaton, MD. My oldest brother (then high school drop out, now college professor!) had left for a stint in the Coast Guard, the other children were all at school, but I was too young to go to school. I remember it was mid morning and the back door open, off my parent's bedroom. I laid on the bed. The doves had been singing their mournful song, and then the rain came. In sheets. It fell and fell and you could hear its music. There was just that and the sound of the iron (an odd click every now again) as mom as banished the wrinkles from all our clothes at the ironing board next to the bed. I don't remember the time of the year, but I remember the sadness. It still comes when the rain falls like that. Silence and rainfall. And a sense of loss.