The Day The Rains Came

February 17, 2014 § 9 Comments

First the seagulls arrived. Mewling and shrieking, tracing steep turns around my chimney pots – their wings stiff and wide as if they were aerobatic planes. They seemed to be arguing, undecided. In the late afternoon as the clouds scudded thick and grey from the north west, the sunset hidden, they glided into the meadow close to the house, spreading out to sleep in loose circles like fairy rings.

The barn owl stayed silent that night, and the blackbird that had been waking me for a week with her hopeful song, was gone. Before the rains came, the wind grasped the few leaves still on the trees and hurled them to the ground, and the gusts rattled the old casement windows so violently I stuffed bits of cardboard in the cracks to quieten them.

In the morning I went to the old mill. I always go there when I’m disturbed. The river was rising. Water heaved itself under the bridge making whirlpools in the mill pond, it’s character suddenly vigorous, aggressive, uncompromising. The branching tips of the leaning willows swirled above the broken surface of the water in the river’s turbulent wind.


Later the wood upriver of the mill would flood, and the top heavy willows

would lean as their roots lost their grasp in the sodden ground.


But the snowdrops would survive.

Emerging from their submersion, muddy, no less worse for wear…


After four weeks of rain, the stretch of river where the otters live slipped over into the glacial valley.

It became a lake. Fences hidden, swans everywhere.


And for now it remains, in all its beauty.


But today the sky brightens. The animals know,  and the blackbird returns to sing.


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§ 9 Responses to The Day The Rains Came

  • Very nice and descriptive. I thought the pictures were a nice touch too. Thank you for the read.

  • mikesteeden says:

    One of your best ever – nature supplies good news the media overlooks! I know it’s an excursion (although not entirely) from your usual posts yet would rather have you reporting than Carol the weather girl on BBC no less!

  • This nicely captures the beauty and changes to our landscape caused by the weather. “Emerging from their submersion, muddy, no less worse for wear…” I loved this, a metaphor for life perhaps?

    Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media

  • Miranda Stone says:

    I’ve been hearing about the horrible winds and flooding many of you are experiencing right now. Yet even in the devastation, your post and photos show that life does indeed carry on. Quite a bit of hope to be found in the survival of the snowdrops. Stay safe, my friend.

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      Thanks, Miranda. Thankfully, it’s really not bad where I live – only roads and meadows are flooded. But there are many people who lives have been turned upside down. I feel so sorry for them. x

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