In an odd way, the heavy rain that lashed much of the East Coast late Sunday evening and Monday felt good. The rain soaked nearly everything outside and in such a way that some of us believed we could feel a collective sigh of relief coming from plants and everything living and trying to grow without much water. If you have a small garden or a larger one or flowers already sprouting the rain came as a respite from the utter lack of it during a spring that began long before winter was officially over.
New England is down about 7-9 inches over last year in precipitation. Everything was bone dry. And even the pouring rain, some 2 inches of it, failed to leave a puddle wherever the earth is bare or grass is trying to grow.
This bit of April rain will ignite the truest greens and will bring out the grass in all its early season fullness in Boston Common and in the Public Garden. The Esplanade will also come to life in a big way overnight. Even the trees, many of them already budding, will be made healthier for the final burst which will change them from bare branches to luscious living things grander than many of the fine buildings they give shade to in our neighborhood.
The rain also washed away the sooty veneer of the winter past, complimenting nicely the effect of the general street sweeping that has been going on throughout the city.
In the eternal words of William Wordsworth:
“How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!
Across the window pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain.”