Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rain in winter offers few benefits

The rain is falling again. It rained yesterday. It rained Sunday. It will rain tomorrow.

A winter's rain offers none of the cooling refreshment of a spring or summer rain. There are no green plants, no flowers to soak up the blessed moisture and nourish the vegetation. This rain falls on a dull, brown landscape that doesn't brighten from the new moisture.

A winter's rain is chilling and makes the temperature, no matter what it is, feel 10 degrees colder. If the temperature dropped a few degrees, the rain would turn to snow or sleet. The snow falls softly, the flakes drifting gently to earth and piling up to cover the ground like a perfect, white blanket. Sleet comes down hard, harder than the rain, and hits with a tinkling sound that cries out, "Danger! Beware!" A heavy snow might close roads and schools, but the sleet will make any outdoor movement hazardous. Ten years ago, I slipped on a sleet-covered step outside my back door and crashed my shoulder blade into the edge of the concrete step. The shoulder blade cracked with a pain that made me scream and then pass out.

The steady rain chills me and annoys me after so many wet days. I long for a lovely but short-lived snow to blanket the brown landscape. But I dread the possibility of sleet, and my shoulder still aches when I think of it.

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