A couple days ago I clocked a column headline that gave me pause, and this morning I returned to Ian Jack’s piece and read it carefully. He explains, with some precision, why we need a new story about the ‘glorious’ weather construct that we put on sunny days. To which I would add, after a suitable fifteen minute exposure to the bright sunlight that elicits Vitamin D from our own metabolism, we need to protect ourselves from the otherwise harmful UV irradiation as we go about our experience of summer.
I’m not a sun worshipper, that much is true. Some of the worst migraines I’ve had have been the result of too much sitting with the rays in my face. Add a lovely cool pint of beer to the mix and I can kiss the rest of the day goodbye as I retreat, whimpering, into a darkened room. So when we find a table in a garden, or a spot to sit and relax, I always look for the shady nook. I should say that the delights of the soft rain today are a particular kind of paradise, and I’m not even a farmer.
Actually, as we drove home from the seaside on Monday, the whiffled hay mounds looked just about ready for baling, all dry in the persistent sun. I’m sure they’re all gathered into dry barns by now. So let the rains come, let the earth be nourished. The rain is at least as glorious as the sun, isn’t it?
Well, to be fair, I feel just about the same way when a blizzard covers the valley in fierce white, when the drifting pellets sting my face and, head down, I trudge down the long track to check whether the postie has persevered to deliver today’s offerings. I’ve loved the ferocity of the blizzard gusts since I was a little boy. But soft rain is pretty wonderful too.
It’s not from nothing that we live in a green and pleasant land. Thank you rain!