“Into each life some rain must fall…”

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1842 poem, “The Rainy Day“, is appropriate for the weather the Twin Cities is experiencing in June. We received an entire season’s rainfall in under a week and are well over a foot above normal for precipitation this year. While it definitely is not cold, the wind has been surprisingly strong and relentless this month. Drought concerns were quickly replaced with flash flood warnings and river crest information. Mudslides, sand bagging efforts, road washouts, dam failures, levee breaches, disaster declarations, and a fool guiding a kayak over Minnehaha Falls recently dominated the news. Longfellow’s poem is especially ironic because the small Minnehaha Creek island base of the statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha at Minnehaha Falls flooded. Some rain must fall, indeed. The songbirds in my backyard are wearing hip waders and swim goggles and the mosquitoes are out in force.

Longfellow’s poem was not a weather observation. After all, it didn’t mention forecasts or reference a Doppler radar unit with a cutesy name. Despite its somber tone, the poem is an acknowledgement that life will get better after going through a dark period. In many ways, the dark periods are similar to summer thunderstorms. Some arrive with warning but fizzle out, others arise seemingly from nowhere and depart nearly as quickly, and still others linger for day upon dreary day before the sun peeks through a small hole and eventually burns away the darkness. Like a summer thunderstorm, sometimes the sun reveals damage requiring a cleanup effort. The effort is either small enough to undertake by oneself or large enough to require help from family and friends. It is important to keep the lines of communication open and keep offering to help. Sometimes knowing people are available to help is enough of a boost to begin repairs. I know I would not have made it through the past few years without a lot of support and love from my family and close friends, and from the support of people willing to help a stranger.

Thank you for taking time from your day to read my musings, and thank you for your support!

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