It had been a long, dry summer. This wasn’t unusual, but the spring rains hadn’t arrived and the paddocks, which were typically well-grassed by this time, looked haggard and bleached by the sun. He found himself scanning the sky, looking for clouds, and checking the digital weather station for any slight shift in pressure. Clouds appeared, but they were high up on the horizon, and by the time they drifted over, any significant moisture had evaporated.

The weather was always the preferred topic of conversation, from incidental chats at the stores in town to detailed discussions over beers in the pub. As the dry spell stretched on, the level of analysis deepened, as did the variety of possible signs of the much-wanted precipitation. Rainfall charts from previous years were excavated as people searched for patterns in something entirely beyond their control. Over vast distances, rainfall was often localized, adding another layer of complexity.

Of a night, as his family slept, he listened to the old farmhouse settle for the evening. The floorboards creaked, and he could hear the tinkle of the wind chimes placed near his daughter’s open window as a light breeze helped to ease the temperature a little. The yard dogs scratched before curling into their kennels for the night. He listened to the roof, ticking softly as the tin cooled in the night air, and as sleep claimed him he dreamed of the steady thrum of rain beating on the roof and softening the earth.

I’m participating in this blogging challenge for the month of January, which supports starting the year on the “write” track. You can find other posts with #bloganuary and join in the challenge.

Photo: raindrops caught in a cobweb