Finally, after several semi-drought years and a disastrous early monsoon, we have rain! Every night! Water is standing everywhere, and flowing in many places. In the mornings, there are muddy little streams and rivulets and cascades all over the place.
Our rainwater collection ponds and rooftop harvesting tank are brimming over.
No one seems to know where this rain is coming from. Is it a late southwest monsoon, an early northeast monsoon, or neither? The weather channels play it safe and call them thunderstorms. But thunderstorms in the middle of the night? Not what we’re used to in these parts.
The geographer in me is dying to know how and why. And the farmer in me wonders what anyone is supposed to plant and when, given the complete unpredictability of the weather. We’re told El Nino is inactive, and conditions are favorable for a good NE monsoon but, really, it’s anybody’s guess.
Anyway, after a dry June-July-August (our anguish added to by floods in the rest of the country), September and October are delivering it in spades. Too late to do any further sowing or planting, but the trees have a spurt of growth and we are flooded with vegetables – potatoes, wing beans, yard long beans, peas. The chikoos and guavas are coming along nicely too, and I think we’re set to get an excellent crop of ragi and groundnuts this year, though we sowed late and little.
The birds sound happy too, from the large horned owl that hoots all night and the miaowing peacocks, to the chirupping bulbuls and those little twittering birds whose name constantly escapes me. Nor can I capture them on my camera. Elusive!
I remember a prayer we were taught when we were little (in a convent). It’s a sweet song, and I still sing it. With some modifications – world became rain, and God became Earth. Right now, it seems particularly apt.
Thank you for the rain so sweet/ Thank you for the food we eat/ Thank you for the birds that sing/ Thank you, Earth, for everything.