by Nancy Casey
In times of drought, the natural world shrivels. Both plants and animals use every trick they know to prevent themselves from dying of thirst. Some seek shade, some are only active at night, others allow less essential parts of themselves to die and fall away.
And then it rains.
Here on the Palouse, the weather is turning. It has been hot and dusty for weeks. The wet season is arriving. For your writing today, notice the way everything under the sky changes as water becomes abundant again. Record some thoughts about that.
Perhaps it is raining right now. Where do the drops land? How do they change the colors, sounds, and smells around you? How do plants and animals react? What’s different about dirt and pavement? Is there anything different about you?
Sometimes the world is so dry that when it first rains, nothing seems to get wet.
When too much rain comes too fast at the end of a drought, floods and destruction can occur.
Sometimes rain can make things that seem dead come alive again.
Maybe it hasn’t rained yet, but rain is “in the air.” What does that mean? How can you tell?
Rain, or the promise of it, can send a person scurrying to bring in or cover up things that aren’t supposed to get wet. Forgotten things can get ruined because it’s hard to re-acquire habits of keeping things dry.
Going from drought to rain can bring changes in a person’s body and mind. Do you or anyone you know experience these changes?
The idea of rain after drought can also be a metaphor. A person can be thirsty for many things besides water—knowledge, friendship, travel, or relief from pain, just to name a few. What happens to a person when this kind of thirst is quenched or about to be quenched? Does anything come back to life? Might there be floods and destruction?
Fill a page with some ideas about rain after a drought. Perhaps you will write about the actual rain and drought. Maybe you will write about something that rain and drought remind you of. You can write about yourself, but you don’t have to. You could write from the point of view of a plant, an animal, or even a lawn chair.
Leave some space to draw or doodle on the page if you like. If you aren’t sure what to write, drawing and doodling can quiet your mind so ideas can spring up—like mushrooms after the rain!
When you have finished writing, reread your work. Make small changes if you need to. When you are satisfied with the page, give it a title and write the date on it, too. Here is an example of what someone could write.
You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.
Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like to do this exercise or others like it with a group of people, come to the Write-for-You class at the Latah Recovery Center on Thursdays at 5pm. Anyone can join. Just show up! You can attend just for fun or work to earn a writing certificate. For more information, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Community Center.