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It's been quite rainy here in Santa Cruz this past week, and tonight's rain has been quite talkative...whispering drip-drops and pitter-patters all over the ground for hours. In a world devoid of concrete, the noises rain makes would be quite different. Living in a small dwelling like an Ohlone tule hut would bring you right into the middle of the rain. We live in houses with hard, thick surfaces that create drumming noises and separate us from the world of rain. A tule home would muffle the falling drops' noises, and the damp earth all around would cushion the rain's landing. The smells would be so pungent. Imagine falling asleep in warm deerskin and furs, hearing and smelling the rain as it falls right outside the thin walls of your tule home. Many years ago, before students dwelled on this forested hill, people lived like this, closer to the rain and in some ways, more in tune with that cycle of rain, nourishment and growth. Many people see the rain for its wetness, for its inconvenience. See it for what it provides to the living beings of the soil, the living beings who grow from and live in the soil: the plants, the banana slugs, the worms. Reach down and touch the damp earth with your fingertips, smell the rain and stop what you are doing, stop thinking about our human world, and be in the world of our universe, of our planet, of the complex web of life that connects us to all things, all things that feel the rain on their skin or drink its sweet nourishment. Sometimes, you have to stop everything for a minute and find that primordial human being within yourself, within the being that you've created, before you can let yourself return to the strange, complicated world we've made (and when you return, ask yourself for what or whom have you created this other being, the one you breathe through most days and face society with).

Allow yourself to breathe, take a moment to feel, to see, and to simply be. It feels more natural to me to do this when it's raining.

Yesterday, while leaving my theater class, I smelled and felt the recently-fallen rain. I smiled to myself at my private ecstatic joy of being alive and walked down a hill, stepping upon the leaf-strewn earth. I started getting that poetry feeling in my mind that starts nagging me with phrases until I either let them play out in my brain and forget them, or grab my notebook and start scribbling. I dropped my backpack on the wet ground and pulled my notebook and a pen from its depths. Here are the human words I wrote to try and describe the natural wonderfulness that I beheld:

Damp earth
fed by rain
yielding to the touch
to new life

dripping trees
magic patterns
of drip here
drop there
patter on my head
pitter patter

gray sky
lets the trees and grasses
dominate the color palette
new sprouts fed
the magically sweet rain

that drops on their head
on the damp earth
on the verdant painted trees
from the canvas sky.

something about the rain
and its reflection in puddles

and the scents that reach
my human senses

makes me pause
to collect my feelings
into thoughts
and scribble them on paper
never giving justice to what's here

striving hard to preserve
these senses and this reality
which tomorrow will be
inkily blotted
like the rain drops on the
that I write.

Thank you kindly for reading!
Green Gal


  1. Interesting thoughts. There have been times in my life when I've lived with just a tent or one room shack as my shelter. I even spent weeks with a poncho as my only shelter from the rain. It does give you a sense of being a part of the natural world and allows you to experience events in a much more vivid and personal manner. However, your perception and interpretation of the experience can change with time as you encounter some of the less popular elements of the natural world. I do appreciate having a sturdy house in which my books and pictures, as well as my family, can remain comfortable and secure.

  2. Thanks for this beautiful and poetic reminder that rain is more than an interruption of my exercise regime or my yard work, more than a factor in traffic accidents, more than the H, the 2, and the O of mud.

    It's what gives all things life.

    As my 15-year-old daughter just shouted from another room, "I love this weather!"


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