It’s raining!

Rain, Gentle Reader, Rain! Glorious, cooling, wet, delicious, drifting, dripping, persistent, and on a rare occasion, HEAVY RAIN, writes our very own Major Blunder in this reflection on precipitation.

Not that this has broken the drought by any stretch of the imagination, but the psychological effect of water falling from the skies with intent after so long away, pooling on the ground, filling streams and making that odd grey dust look like soil again is quite amazing. The tension winds back a little, both flora and fauna perk up, and we, the current receivers of this beneficence do likewise. Quite stunning what a little water will do.

Of course, in a few months we will also, no doubt, be decrying the constant drifting sheets of rain, the inability to “go outside”, the mud that is tracked with us when we do, washing getting wet, clogged gutters and flooding, but we are also a difficult species to please. A little balance required, perhaps a longer term view, or just some patience. Personally, one prefers eating to the alternative, so rain is frightfully useful, from that point of view.

Perhaps being a farmer’s son gives one a different view of rain, as droughts were always greeted with concerns about stock, lambing rates, levels of feed, lack of growth, poorer fleeces, less milk from the house cow, the risk of fire in grain crops, poor sale weights and even poorer prices. Hard to avoid taking the worries of parents up my emotional osmosis, even if you are too young to appreciate quite why Mater and Pater are worried. And so there are strong associations of concern when the fine weather becomes the dry, becomes drought, as there are when the wheel swings the other way, with all the associated health risks for stock, poor plant growth from excess water and the vague possibility of flooding – rarely a concern on hill country, but slips are another matter.

Puketaha school students experience the Battle of Hastings…

For things Regimental, it is rare that a little water hurts our plans, although on occasion the foe fails to materialise on a battle day when the sky is falling. However, the Regiment always turns up, ready for action, despite what the weather may do, as we have often enjoyed the experience of the skies, if not clearing – which has happened enough to be suspicious – then holding their water as it were, for long enough to do glorious battle. Mudstains, glue and the scent of damp wool are no strangers to Pacifist Battlers. On several occasions, hordes of apparently primordial beasts, dripping mud, have battled valiantly for the high ground, mid-ground or shelter, despite the thickening rain, only drawing off when there was serious threat of drowning if slain or being flattened by even heavier rain. No wilting violets, Her Majesty’s farces, and certainly not wilting with all that rain.

However, Gentle Reader, for oneself, at this moment, as the rain drips off the trees in heavily liquid splats and gurgles pleasantly in the gutters, as the thirsty soild soaks up all it is given and will still take more, and all the greenery surrounding one’s domicile perks up and looks Alive again, one is happy to accept the sky’s offerings … although a little more would be good over the next few weeks. That and the fact that if one falls to a well-placed enemy blow, properly hydrated soils are somewhat softer to land on than we have had until recently. In short, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

One remains, as ever, your most obedient servant –

Major Blunder, Officer Commanding, Fifth Waikato Dragoons Regiment, Northern Command, Alf’s Imperial Army. Humour in Uniform. Visit the website here.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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