While eating breakfast out of town, I overhead a woman at another table saying she hoped it stopped raining. Stop raining!!! In a similar vein, a former student who is a Facebook friend posted he’s tired of rain. Tired of Rain??? Despite frequent spritzes, real moisture hasn’t happened over our town. We live in a meteorological donut hole, which means we can watch bright reds, yellows, and orange pixels heading our way on the radar. As soon as they get close enough to inspire a happy dance, those vivid colors split into a Y shape or, even more dishearteningly, an O form, leaving us in either black or the lightest blue—a color that means we’ll be grateful for 12 raindrops.
We know people east of us with gardens saturated to the point nothing is growing. We’ve heard about those dealing with leaky basements and roofs. While we don’t want their tomatoes to wash out, their shingles to mildew, or their basements to overflow, we’d like to see running rivers and water-to-the- brim ponds and lakes. Currently, what ought to be an angler’s delight is all too often a basin of dry, cracked mud or powdery dust that won’t satisfy a thirsty cow or deer. Ponds and lakes with water are so low cows can wade through them and not get their hocks wet.
I am grateful for the precipitation we have received and hope for more to come. Heaven’s being bombarded with prayers of thanks and prayers for more. On that note, I’m careful to be specific to ask for enough but not too much. I don’t want to be like the town of Holly, Colorado, in 1965. Years ago, I read an article explaining how eastern Colorado suffered a terrible dry spell. Churches responded by hosting services specifically praying for moisture.
From June 14 to June 20, God answered those divine requests in spades. So much rain fell that the Platte and the Arkansas overflowed their banks. Smaller creeks overflowed and roadways became torrential rivers. Within 14 hours, 15.5 inches fell just south of Lamar, Colorado. Holly’s not far away, so houses and streets flooded there as well.
We happened to visit my grandmother and uncle’s family in Denver during this wet spell. That annual holiday introduced me to the joys of bailing a basement out via bucket brigade. It rained so much we couldn’t haul water out as fast as it flowed in. Despite the inconvenience of vacationing during a downpour, all of us stayed safe, and the basement eventually dried out.
That wasn’t a reality for other families or property. Twenty-one people died in this deluge. That downpour destroyed millions of dollars’ worth of houses, cars, and roads. Other infrastructure was washed away or damaged so badly it required rebuilding. Such statistics taught me to pray specifically for only enough rain.
Living in that black zone on the radar frustrates those of us driving by dry ponds and dusty streambeds, but dealing with floods would exasperate us as well. Balance is the key. We’ll take our twelve drops and keep praying for enough but not too much.