Renfrew County is now officially experiencing its worst drought in 120 years. Our CSA farmer put it best: no living farmer in our area has seen conditions this dire. In addition to the challenges presented by watering livestock and crops, we've seen barns blown down by fierce winds, and others burned down by the elements. Other farmer friends experienced their first rain storm last week, which turned into a hailstorm that destroyed many of their already-struggling crops.
When the clouds gather, we feel hopeful. Often, we hear thunder in the distance, then the clouds sort of blow by without noticing our desperation.
But sometimes, the wind picks up a bit, and the thunder comes closer. The first drops start to fall, and we all run outside to feel the blessed rain on our faces.
Last night we were at my childhood home when the storm began. My girls ran out, stripped down, and shimmied around the outside edge of the porch to reach out to the downpour streaming off the roof.
They stuck their bums into the cold rain, and I had to laugh; my mom has pictures of me giggling and washing my hair under this same downpour when I was a child.
We can almost hear the grass sighing as the rain comes down, and the flowers and trees seem to loll luxuriantly in her wet embrace. These small offerings of water, unfortunately, do not signal an end to the drought. It would take a month of daily, soft rain to repair the damage wrought by this summer's lack.
We rejoice in every drop we get.