Saturday, February 16, 2008


My attitude to rain has changed since I moved to Suffolk. Certainly, I used to understand rain as a good thing. I didn’t have the townees’ hatred of rain: a thing expressed time and again by the great Shane MacGowan of The Pogues, for whom rain is final proof of the indifference of God to his own suffering. MacGowan has written of Rain Street, that it’s just another bloody rainy day, and that it was raining worse than anything that he had ever seen.
But me, I used to see the rain and say, well, I accept that it is a Good Thing. A pity it’s doing it now, but I accept it. But I left all that behind when I reached Suffolk. My water is pumped up from a well; I have a bit of river on my few acres; I have pasture. I need the grass, I need the rain, or my horses will suffer. And so when it rains, I respond not with my mind but my guts: rain, how truly fabulous. It is an extraordinary adjustment, a new way of seeing the world. Water doesn’t come from a tap: it comes from the sky. My water is wild.

From chapter 42 of How to be Wild, by Simon Barnes.

I'm reading this book at the moment, on and off. It's the sort of book that keeps coming back to the same refrain, and there's no 'plot' so picking it up when you feel like it isn't going to lose you anything. But it is a wondrous refrain to the wonder of the wild world around us - not the wilds of Africa (although that's here too) but the wilds of Suffolk or your back yard.
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