I hear it before I see it. Crashing into my window, the only thing stopping it from breaking in is streaking glass. The tin roof echoes the monotonous pattering of its forthcoming; it drums on without missing a beat. Sliding down the gutters, it attempts to soak into the dusty sand we stand on. You can hear every farmer in Wise County uttering the same thing, the same prayer, the same sigh of relief, the same weight being lifted from their shoulders. Yes, it is raining.
Three months without rain is a long time; anyone in this area will tell you that. Three months without a single drop of rain made it difficult on the local farmers and ranchers. Water levels suffered and so did the landscape. Fires enveloped the region, costing people their land and homes. To make matters worse, the wind was merciless, tearing at people’s nerves and spreading the flames. Firefighters risked their lives against Mother Nature’s unforgiving fervor. We broke out our sprinklers and water hoses in an attempt to quench the thirst that only a good downpour could gratify. We almost lost hope, until we were blessed with something simple and pure, something we often take for granted until we don’t have it anymore.
We had a horse cut her shoulder on some sharp metal a couple of months ago. The cut was as long as my hand and about as deep as the length of a quarter. Immediately, I started pulling antiseptics like Blu-Kote and Vetericyn out of our tack cabinet, only to be stopped by my dad. He tied the horse up to one of our stalls and started hosing her shoulder off with a good deal of water. We might have sat there for twenty minutes, just letting water run over her laceration. I knew keeping her cut clean would help, but I couldn’t figure out why he only used water. Later, my dad said something that I never really have quite forgotten. He told me that water was nature’s remedy for everything. He said that God had a good reason for giving it to us and that it would pretty much heal anything. Over the next few weeks, I saw the truth in my dad’s words. We continued running water over it every night and pretty soon, the awful cut was replaced by a slightly raised scar, just a mere reminder of the ugly incision.
It’s a universal solvent, it makes up 83 percent of our blood, it’s somebody’s saving grace, and we’ve all been told to drink more of it. The simple blessing of rain makes us all remember how much we actually need it. My youth pastor once told me that we can survive up to a month without food, but only a week without water. Without it, there is no life. I was walking in a parking lot today, not really paying attention, and managed to step in a water puddle, soaking my entire shoe. Cold water seeped into my sock as I pulled it out. First grimacing, I suddenly realized I have no room to complain. We received one inch of rain today, an extra inch we truly needed. I walked the rest of the length of parking lot, mindful of puddles along the way, but also smiling. I hadn’t stepped in a puddle of water in three whole months.