Stand in the rain

One thing I liked about working on a farm, years ago, was the stretching of boundaries regarding acceptable weather. We worked in massive heat,  surrendering to its open throat, sweating so much that our sweat made a crust on our skin, which swelled with chigger bites. We worked in early morning fog, we worked in midafternoon downpours, wearing yellow slickers, on a slick of red clay mud. We only left the field if there was lightning. I didn’t work there year-round, but if I had I’m sure I would have worked through cold, too.

The other day we were outside at the swingset and a nice light rain started, and I felt the conditioned impulse to close up shop on what we were doing–well, that’s it, we have to go inside–and then thought, why? This is something that happens on the planet and I have only this one lifetime to feel and hear it. We stayed and kept swinging.

Once we watched a rainbow happen from our front porch–one of the best I’ve seen, two arcs, shimmering and changing over a period of minutes, luminous. It made us laugh out loud. My dad happened to be here and asked us to imagine being hunter-gatherers, crouched around a miserable little fire in the rain, “eating burned meat,” and then seeing such a thing visit the sky.

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