Weekly musings on the arts and current events.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Rain

Only October, and here's our first rain.

It teased a while, showering hard for ten or fifteen seconds and stopping. The clouds turned from pewter to platinum and the air became a tad warmer, as if to say, "I'm done raining; you can come out now."

But soon the platinum turned to lead, a chill set in, and it rained all night.

We're never satisfied. We're in a drought, but our fire scorched hills are liable to erode into mudslides. The grapes aren't all harvested in the wine country, so this early storm may cost us some chardonnay and zinfandel. Nevertheless, seeing the perked up greenery in my yard, smelling at last a freshness in the air, and listening to it fall, are sumptuous pleasures.

Gustave Caillebotte's painting shows the first fat drops rippling the surface of the still placid stream. In a few minutes, we can imagine, the water will flow faster and rise in its banks, and the reflections of the trees will disappear. It's the kind of rain we wish to get caught in.

L'Yerres, pluie (1875). Click on the picture for a closer look.


Ann said...

Love that painting. In the smaller shot it actually looks like a photo until you click to make it larger and you see brush strokes. Beauty.

Paula Slade said...

I agree with Ann's comments about the painting looking like a photo - that is what I thought it was at first. Lovely post Richard, brought back memories of those long stretches of 'no rain days' in LA, and the welcome relief that always followed.

dragonfly said...

Here in Alaska, when it rains it's sharp, cold bites hitting your skin. The warm summer rain in other places always suprised me, I loved the feel of it. The painting is beautiful. Capturing water (and the light within it) is an amazing talent.

DUTA said...

"The clouds turned from pewter to platinum....but soon the platinum turned to lead...".
I like that very, very much. I find the attaching of metallic colours to the clouds - very ingenious.

In Hebrew there is a special name for the first rain - yoreh. This year the yoreh came earlier, in mid-September and it caught me outside in a neighbor's garden picking guyava fruit. I stayed in the rain as if to take revenge on the summer's heat and dryness. And then, I entered home with the bag of guyava looking like ..a 'tzunami' survivor.