Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!
The cattle who should, according
to folklore, be lying down at the approach of rain,
stand skeptical in a field of ragged green. The sky,
a surging pewter, exhibits a tatter of gulls. Like cows, I live under a conditional heaven;
clouds keep tearing apart, then mending,
heavy with partial images. Moments ago
a sheaf of rain, weighted with promise, breached the foothills. Now its silver ghost
breasts the cow pasture, looms closer, then passes
barely a hundred yards to my left. It
never even blesses my forehead with its fierce mist. In tune with the random weather,
its errors of judgment, I wait. But what?
A wind from the south? A green
perfection? A seven-year drought? The forecaster preaches his dogma, predicting
high pressure as irritating as intractable optimism;
he may prove wrong. I long to be soaked through.
I want it to pour, relentless, for weeks.