Old Order Mennonite Memoirs
June 17, 2021
"It flashes, it crashes, it rumbles, it roars,
It mumbles and grumbles, it splatters, it pours;
The rain comes a-sweeping, the wind at its tail –
It's seeking the corners to muffle its wail.
It pitters, it patters, it dabbles, it drops,
It tinkles and sprinkles, and finally stops;
The rain is now over, the shower is gone...
Like ripples on streamlets, our praises flow on."
I found this little rhyme among my clippings but I don't know who wrote these descriptive words about rain. Some of the precipitation last week came in the form of cloud bursts, creating little rivers, leaving little gullies. Some of the rain came in misty fog to keep us out of our gardens and lawns and some came gently letting every drop soak in slowly.
The corn plants responded to all forms of wetness and stretched upward and across to their neighbors and so became a sea of green. The patches of grass we sowed became green quickly, replacing stumps removed that once belonged to strong, mighty trees. One seeded area replaced a flowerbed removed because I know my limitations. Meanwhile the velvet chains that hold me to my gardens are beginning to feel like a noose around my neck unless I hurry to harvest the yields, either rising earlier or changing my routine. That is the way it is for farmers and gardeners, often with only a small window of opportunity. My husband found it hard to believe that he was able to harvest his grass field into small bales on Monday, never washed by rain.
To spend an evening with songs at our daughter's house seemed like a luxury. The calm but wet outside world seemed to bid us to relax and let 'our praises flow on, like ripples on streamlets....' That same wetness, the next day, kept us from mowing the lawn, so we waited for Saturday's sunshine, which was also fine weather to buy and plant trees.
The sunshine for Sunday was interspersed with many raindrops. At Piney Creek church the cicadas sang as we worshiped inside with open windows. Their happy song about freedom after 17 years of dark confinement reverberated through the surrounding woods but gave way to the low rumbling of thunder in the skies. God's voice seemed almost to drown out the sound of Ephesians 6 being explained and yet - "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things." Romans 10:15
I shared the pew with my sister-in-law as usual, but I was pleased to be seated beside my old-time friends. Coming from Missouri and Michigan they were in the area as descendants of David and Mary Nolt, both of whom are now buried in the graveyard at Martinsburg church. Besides visiting there, they and many others were gathered at their brother's home along Cross Cove Road.
A different type of "reunion" on Sunday evening for my extended family included baseball at the diamond along Hickory Bottom. When twilight fell, my two youngest sisters-in-law brought out two big cakes and lots of snacks and drinks to celebrate the 40th birthday of their husbands, my twin brothers. As darkness draped over the wriggling cluster of humanity, cloud-to-cloud lightning flashed in the east and the sun fell away in the west. The sunset colors were interspersed with unusual, vertical columns of blue.
The ending of another good day marked one day closer to July 8, the day planned for another wedding, Lord willing. For Matthew Zimmerman, the son of Luke and Velma Zimmerman, the Sunday evening trips from Piney Creek Road to Hickory Bottom Road to see Mary Lou Horst, daughter of Isaac and Irene Horst, are fast coming to an end.