I sat on my front porch, watching the rain pelt the sidewalks, streets, and the lovely highbush cranberries in my front yard. They are one of my favorite plants in my yard, and not just because they provide a wall of privacy between me and the street. The skies were grey and moody and the wind was gusting and purposeful. I sat alone on my porch and I looked at the small rings of delicate white flowers that come each year on the cranberry bushes. They are the precursors to the berries, and one of my favorite moments in the lushness of spring that we can mark by flower: crocus, daffodil, tulip, lilac, lily of the valley, bleeding heart, iris, and the tiny pink circle of buds surrounded by soft, rounded little white flowers of the cranberry bush.
I love spring rains. But after a couple horrible years of flooding in the area, rain has taken on a different edge for me. I used to welcome with abandon the rushing rain, the rivulets in the street, and the puddles in the driveway. I still love it all, but there is now some part of me that also says, “Please don’t give the Kickapoo River too much. Please don’t take away people’s homes or crops, or shops.”
I sat on my porch, tucked against my house and out of the rain, considering how things come and go. A fine mist covered my bare arms and legs. I was cold. I sat watching the white flowers of the cranberry get dashed to the ground. Little white flowers dotted the steps of my porch, the front sidewalk. I wanted to see the bushes one more time the way they were before the rain wiped them out.
I wondered if it would be the last time I would see these bushes this way. Every year, my garden gives a gorgeous parade of flowers and plants. Who knows what will happen between now and the next blooming of the highbush cranberries. I don’t have any plans to miss them. But it did occur to me that you just never know. It did occur to me as I sat watching the rain that it’s good to soak those beauties in, to really notice them, and to be glad that I get to be here at the same time.