Rain, Shine and the Spaces Between

The skies turn dark, more grey than black.

The air becomes perfectly still.

And then comes the rain, in sheets and showers.

Pouring down on dry grass, garden beds…

Blog Photo - Garden rain lady's mantle drenched

… and our verandah roof.

The water streams down in front of and beside the verandah.

Blog Photo - Garden rain lavender blue clematis

I sit on a chair, enjoying this moment from a safe perch of my own.

Blog Photo - Garden rain blue-lavender clems

“I should grab my camera”, I tell myself. But I sit still, unwilling to interrupt the moment.

Blog Photo - Garden rain cu of lavender blue clematis

Overhead, small branches of pale-green maple leaves sway in the air.

Red weigela flowers move amid green leaves, showered by water, ruffled by wind.

Blog Photo - Garden rain - red weigela branch

Below them both, large hosta leaves are weighed down with raindrops.

Blog Photo - Garden rain large hosta

Dip, dip. Fall back.

Blog Photo - Garden rain hosta bloom

Unless you’re laden with red currants… in which case: Dip, dip. Fall forward.

Blog Photo - Garden rain red currants branch

The tall blue spruce tree stands majestic, appearing unmoved by the wind and showers.

Blog Photo - Garden rain blue spruce

But there’s light movement in its outermost branches.  The tree has taken on a soft look, its face gentled by the rain.

All birds have taken cover, tucking themselves into dry spaces between thick branches.

One small bird sees opportunity.  It darts into the rain, tail feathers wet and glistening, and aims straight for its target. It stays there, pecking, content to be alone with what it usually has to compete for: a space at the feeder.

Blog Photo - Garden in Rain wet birdfeeder

From the verandah’s eaves trough, powerful streams torrent into the garden bed below. The Annabelle hydrangea is taking a beating, it seems.  Branches, gracefully upright a few minutes ago, part with the wisdom of growing things faced with the unstoppable power of water.

It’s merely minutes later now.

Blog Photo - Garden rain Rhodo leaves

The water from the eaves trough narrows.  Long thin streams of vertical water form a transparent drape in the space between verandah posts.

Five streams falling steadily on the earth. Then four.  Then, three. Then two, then one.

A trickle, now.

Then a quiet drip.

The rush of water, the soft thud of raindrops, the splash on leaves and flowers — all come to a stop. As if a mighty switch was turned on, then off, the rain has come and gone.

Blog Photo - Garden rain pink and lavender clems

Flowers glisten.

Blog Photo - Garden rain Red Bee Balm about to bloom

Birds chirp and fly towards a single spot: the feeder.

And I think, as I watch them:

How smart that first bird was.

The one that went before, wet tail-feathers and all.

Blog Photo - Garden rain - two birds at feeder

And how remarkable water is.

Liquid, fluid, transparent.  Forceful and life giving.

And as I sit on my verandah, giving thanks for it all – the rain, the trees and shrubs and flowers, and the birds and a place in which to sit, protected — the sun comes out.

Blog Photo - Garden rain Clematis dark blue

As quickly as the rain began, except there was no warning this time. Almost no space between.

Rain and Sun. Doing their part to keep us alive.

We depend on them so much, that ironically we take them for granted.

We give them names that begin with lower case letters.

But Rain and Sun are Capital Gifts. Sacred Gifts.

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60 Comments

Filed under A Good Home, Canada, Canadians, Clematis, Daisy buds, Flowers, Gardening, Gardens, Hosta, Lady's Matnle, Life in canada, Lifestyle, Rain, Red currants, Spruce tree, Sun

60 responses to “Rain, Shine and the Spaces Between

  1. beautiful writing and pictures!!

  2. Franca

    This morning! It was beautiful!

  3. Beautiful break from my hot dry day! I love how you bring the simple and ordinary to life by noticing and relishing the details. Thank you for reminding me to savor the small stuff! 🙂

  4. Your description is just like the rain storms I know & love. Particularly liked the picture of the Cowbirds on your feeder. They have a beautiful ‘liquid’ call – how appropriate!

  5. Beautiful pics and even more beautiful words. Thanks Cynthia. 😃

  6. Perfectly wonderful! Can’t believe how quickly the seasons change in Canada. My fruit is nowhere near ripe!

  7. Jim

    Thank you Cynthia. You really brought that moment to life. It is always interesting to see how the various garden plants respond to a heavy shower. Some stand tall, some flop, some rebound quickly, others stay flopped. I like the daring, smart bird too. Rain and Sun indeed. Thanks.

    • Thank you, Jim. I was a bit concerned for the Red Bee Balm, but it stayed upright. I admired the ones in your garden and plan to show you a photo of mine when it’s in bloom.
      It didn’t bloom for Canada Day, but will soon!

      • Jim

        Does it not comprehend its patriotic duty? But I thought I saw some of that fuzzy ol flower in one of the pics.

      • Yes, you did see it, but it’s not fully abloom yet. Just kinda half-bloomin’.

        Maybe I should go sing the national anthem to it? will tell you if it works!!

      • Jim

        I was going to suggest that. I bet it will work but you’d better hurry. 🙂

      • I got my voice ready and went out there, Jim, ready to belt out “Oh, Canada…”
        But would you believe? In a matter of one sunny and warm afternoon, the flowers are blooming nicely. Wow.

      • Jim

        Like I said in my post, she’s a dandy! And she rose to her patriotic duty! Hooray.

  8. I love a summer shower. There isn’t anything else quite like it.

  9. I love your garden pictures! Rain is so wonderful!

  10. Lovely post, photos, and flowers. Hugs, Natalie 🙂

  11. Ah, the loveliness of a summer downpour, safely observed from a dry spot. And, yes, Sun and Rain are Capital Gifts, as are your words and your lovely garden. Did you take the 4th photo? It’s gorgeous.

  12. It gets trickier & trickier to figure out when to get the camera & when to just rest in the moment of beauty. Looks like you figured out the right balance! 🙂

    • Agreed, Lori. This morning, the arbor was teeming with birds, standing in wait for their turn at the feeder. It was quite a sight, but I knew if I went to get the camera, I’d likely disturb them. (that’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it…)

  13. Your garden style, design and planting is divine! And I love this evocative post about the flowers, birds and you in the midst of a rain storm. Perfect!
    Karen.

    • Ah — Merci, Madame, I am bouleversee by your compliments… (You have to imagine me saying this with a French accent…)
      My rambling, exuberant garden thanks you for liking it, too.

  14. I believe I have garden envy!! Lovely post – I could smell the summer rain!

  15. That’s fab. And how do you keep the slugs off your hostas?

    • I haven’t seen any yet – but I bet they’re there, munching away at the under-leaves.

      Slugs, mosquitoes and cockroaches: Can anyone tell me what useful purpose these little creatures perform in nature? Maybe I’d appreciate them more. Meanwhile, yuck!

  16. A lovely evocative post. We sometimes take these God-given gifts for granted – thank-you for the reminder to say ‘thank-you’. Beautiful photos of your lovely garden.

  17. Wow, what visual. I can see you on that veranda with dripping leaves, birds singing and then the appearance of the sun and it’s rays. Beautiful. Love the clematis too, Cynthia. Always been a favorite of mine. 🙂

  18. There is something especially cozy about sitting on the porch during a summer rainstorm, listening to the rain drumming on the roof. Great post.

  19. I like your idea of capitalizing Rain and Sun. People complain when it Rains, but it is so important. Especially after being in a drought, as our area has been in for several years.

    • Having lived among working farmers, I realize how important the Rain is. I especially love what we call “Farmer’s Rain”: gentle and steady. The huge rush of water tends to roll off the dry soil, but the steady and gentle kind is what farmers love.

  20. This was lovely! Nothing better than summer rain and I always think that no matter how much I water with a hosepipe the garden is so much more joyous when it is supplied from above!

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