There’s nothing quite like the prediction of rain after an extended dry spell to get farmers hopping. Fencing, put off for weeks, is hurriedly done – because it’s going to rain. Firewood boxes are topped up and washing done – because it’s going to rain. Water tanks are emptied and cleaned and the residents are relocated -
because it’s going to rain. And then, when the jobs are done and the skies are still blue, a restless anticipation sets in.
The waiting starts.
Monthly internet allowances are exceeded as farmers load and re-load the radar page.
The Bureau of Meteorology is cursed because it may not rain – and it is so desperately needed.
And then it starts. Gently at first and, as though still not believing, the farmer checks the rain gauge at hourly intervals. Jealously sets in when the mob over the hill has had three inches to our one. But the rain continues, soaking into the dry ground and running in tiny rivulets across paddocks, and the land opens its soul to receive it.
A dusty lens is washed from the farmers’ eyes and the world looks sharper, the future rosier. Even mulga looks brighter. Earthy smells rise (and so do not so pleasant smells around the dog kennels). The air is easier to breathe. Rain on a tin roof chases worries away and in the words of Dorothea Mackellar “the filmy veil of greenness thickens as we gaze.”
And in a paddock on our property a new life is gifted.
Maybe only they who live with a rain gauge ever truly understand the blessing of rain.