We’ve all heard the inspirational quotes about sunshine after the rain and how if we want rainbows we need to put up with the rain beforehand. Rain seems to be equated with ‘bad’.
When we are going through a bad period in our lives, the analogy given is often of rain and gloom.
Today, I want to change the perspective a little because today, in the life of many people rain is literally blessing us. When I came home from work yesterday the Garden Gnome was nowhere to be seen in the house. He walked in from outside a couple of moments later and he was nearly soaked to the skin. I asked him what he’d been doing and he said “Walking in the rain. It’s been a while since I could do that”.
He’s right. The western part of our state has been in a state of drought for some time now. Even here where we live closer to the coast (but far enough inland to escape a tsunami if I ever needed to), the local farmers (and those with acreage and animals) have been struggling. As I drive around my local area, I have seen lines of hay scattered in paddocks and large containers of water dotted around for the animals. I have seen dams and ‘soaks’ dried up. I have seen cracks in the earth that could swallow a small child or animal.
Every conversation with others of late has been about the weather, the lack of fodder for animals and how much it costs to buy water to fill the tanks for the houses in the outlying areas.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was watching a story on a current affairs program about the suffering of the farmers in the western parts of Queensland and New South Wales. Many of them have resorted to killing their animals to alleviate the suffering of starving because they can no longer afford to purchase hay from other parts of Australia to feed them. A lot of farmers have exhausted their savings and are in debt to the banks for up to $5000 a day in order to keep themselves and their livestock alive. Many farmers have resorted to taking their own lives because they could see no other way out. In fact the reporter doing the story went back to his family home to interview his parents who are farmers. As he interviewed his mother he reminded her that her first words to him upon his return were “Make sure the gun cabinet is kept locked”.
But now it is raining. We are not promised a huge amount (although when have the weather forecasters ever got it completely right?) but we are promised some soaking rain. Enough to fill tanks. Enough to turn the brown grass of our lawns and dustbowls green again. Enough to feed and water livestock. Enough to give hope for another day.
So whilst the analogy of rain being bad is still out there, let’s look at the other side of the coin.
Sometimes the suffering we endure can teach us valuable lessons. We learn and grow from the experience. Just as rain nurtures the earth and encourages growth from it, the ‘rainy’ periods in our lives can do exactly the same thing.
Once more, it’s about perspective.
However in my world today, rain is a blessing.