It’s raining in my part of the prairies today. Heard it was “pouring rain” further north and west in the county. The timing never seems to be spot on, farmers are trying to get their crops planted, but no one complains. It was a dry winter. I think I shoveled twice, swept a few times, and let the sunshine take care of the other days. And the snow we get is often a dry, powdery stuff with little or no moisture in it.
When you live in country where agriculture is central to the life of the community the weather is central to the life we live. As a school teacher years ago, we always had a smile when it rained about the time of the mill levy election for the district. It had an easier chance of passing when there was adequate moisture. Everyone just felt more comfortable.
If you can believe it, sometimes out here in this semi-arid area we can get too much rain and it can come at the wrong time. I remember one year the sugar beet farmers were trying to get their harvest done in the fall. The rain made it impossible to get the beets out because the machinery kept sinking into the mud.
When rain does come the prairies green up faster than you can believe and if the moisture falls all summer as it sometimes does, the comments about how green it was going west to Miles City or Billings is all you here.
In town it means we don’t have to turn on our sprinkler systems quite so early and it means the flowers and bushes will thrive. Usually when you are planting new bushes or perennials you try to buy drought-resistant because you never know what the year will bring.
I remember my folks talk about growing up on the South Dakota prairies during the dry years of the 1930s. There was a song Mom used to sing when telling us about those days: Sunshine and rain, refreshing, reviving rain. Light of hope and love, showers from above. Sunshine and rain, refreshing, reviving rain. Send us Lord the sunshine and the rain. That refrain is never out of date.