One of my favorite sounds of summer is the pitter-patter of a light rain shower. As an adult, this welcoming sound has two significant meanings for me. First, a light rainfall provides a gentle application of water for the garden, which means I won’t need to drag out the hose. Rain also provides an excuse to ditch my weeding chores for the day.
Childhood Memories of Rain
Rain showers take me back to my childhood. Like many youngsters, I was terrified of storms. The lightning, thunder, and wind would make me want to run and hide. My father understood this and often encouraged me to sit on the porch with him and watch as storms approached.
The porch was open to the east and south, so we were well protected from driving rain and wind which usually approached from the west. The sound of rain and thunder was loud, but my father would sit there calmly. His seemingly lack of concern over nature’s noise and light show dispelled my fears.
Sitting on the porch with my father also taught me a lot about storms. As a gardener I spend many hours outdoors in the summer. I’m always amazed at how quickly weather can change from sunny to stormy.
Odd things, like a leaf blowing across the grass can catch my attention and cause me to look up from my gardening. If I scan the western horizon and see dark clouds, I know it’s time to pull out my phone and check the radar.
When gardening outdoors, I often have an array of tools scattered around the yard. If radar shows a fast-approaching storm, I know it is time to hustle and get things back where they belong.
From Storms to Soft Rain Sounds
To this day I love watching thunderstorms approach. It reminds me of time spent with my father. I still feel the excitement as the energy of the storm moves into the area. The winds pick up and dark clouds slowly sweep overhead. Then, the lightning flashes and the approaching rain and thunder sounds grow louder.
Here in Ohio, tornadoes are possible, but rare. We’re much more likely to have wind or hail damage. The wind from strong summer storms can bring down large limbs and break the stems of flowers, vegetables, and ornamentals. Hail can make Swiss cheese out of leafy greens like lettuce and damage flowers, fruits, and veggies.
I always worry when I see the damaging elements of storms descend upon my garden. But just like when I was a child, the worst part of the storm never lasts long. As soft, gentle rain sounds begin to reach my ears, I give a sigh of relief. Is it because my garden is safe? Or because now everything is too wet to weed? You decide!