“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:11-12
The month of May has been rather cool and damp in Virginia Beach. The abundance of rain, gray skies, and temperatures in the in the 60s and 70s remind me of March and April rather than the month on the brink of summer.
Things have been rather dreary, and we’re all craving consistent sunshine and warmth, but for the most part, I haven’t minded the rain. Rain and cool temperatures mean I get some much-needed, quiet days indoors to think and to work, and the rain makes everything lush and vibrant like the lawns and gardens captured by high-quality cameras. Regent’s campus and my neighborhood are particularly green this year.
The sun came out today, and only faint cirrus clouds are in the sky. If the Weather Channel is correct, it will be in the 80s all week without a rain cloud in sight.
“With all this rain, sun, and warmth, the earth is going to explode!” I told my colleague. This is the recipe for the best spring foliage we’ve seen for some time. I imagine that even the fall colors will be exceptional this autumn because of all the rain we’ve received this month.
The weather reminds me of an NPR article about the Super Bloom that occurred in Death Valley, Nevada in February. Super Blooms occur about once every ten years. Perfect conditions are required to wake up each type of seed hiding in the desert. Scientists say consistent rainfall from El Niño caused the 2016 Super Bloom.
After I read that article, I started to expect a literal and figurative Super Bloom in Virginia. But as spring progressed and nothing happened, I became disappointed and stopping looking. I am realizing now that spring comes earlier in some places—just like spring came in February in Nevada, weeks before it officially began on March 20.
Spring has arrived rather late to Virginia this year, but with good reason: we needed some more rain to ignite growth for the season ahead, just like consistent rain is needed for the Super Bloom.
Endless rainy seasons can drain our souls, but we still need them in good measure. Rain makes us reflect; it makes us still; it challenges our faith; it forces us to listen to God to discern what He’s up to and what role we play in it.
There’s a certain type of joy that comes after a season of innumerable days strung together by rain clouds and cool temperatures. There is a greater pep in your step, and your smile is brighter. Even the birds, squirrels, and rabbits seem to notice. They skip around with a bit more glee. It is when these sunny days come that we become confident that dreary weather has a purpose, and we remind ourselves that when those days do return that they are divine.