Thursday, May 22, 2008
"Soft Day, Missus"
“Soft day, Missus,” farmers would greet my grandmother, lifting their caps, as we clopped along to the village in the pony and trap. A “soft day” in Ireland is a rainy one. The greeting is like a benediction though. There is no complaint in the words. They know the rain is necessary. Besides, how do you think they keep those forty shades of green in top shape for the tourists?
“Soft day my arse!” I can almost hear my sister snort.
“’Tis her head that’s gone soft on her. Romanticising this bloody weather that has my heart scalded, and her sitting like Lady Muck in the Florida sunshine!”
Snorting sisters aside, I know whereof I speak. Because…..drum roll please…..We had a lovely soft day HERE today!
The “gentle rain from heaven” has been caressing us all day. Welcome, not only because we’re parched for a drop of moisture, but also because we’re on the threshold of hurricane season and wondering what meteorological atrocities the Weatherman In The Sky has in store for us this summer.
When I returned from the Cave of the Ancients this evening I was loath to go inside, so went for a stroll among the trees out back. The air was soft and misty. At first it seemed quiet but then my ears tuned to the raucous ribbiting of rain-thirsty frogs. As I came back towards the house, a couple of birds started making an awful racket, screeching at me, and swooping close. If they’d just kept quiet I’d never have known they had babies nearby. They made the same racket last night when they saw our Great White Hunter [Casper, the recently disgraced-for-barfing-on-my-quilt cat] on lizard patrol [wonder if there was chewed up lizard in the ignominious puddle?]out around the pool. They couldn’t tell that he couldn’t get to them from there. All they knew was there was a four legged predator on the prowl. Between the flapping and the squawking it didn’t take a genius to understand their anxiety.
But I saw no sign of a nest. What I did see, as I strolled slowly by some bushes, was that little fellow up there, all by his lonesome. Might have been his first time out of the nest. Inexperienced enough to know no fear, he just cocked his head and looked up at me, seeming to listen intently as I crooned at him, while mom and dad had conniptions on the roof.
I ran inside to get my camera, almost expecting they’d have whisked him away when I came out again, but no. He was still there, waiting to have his picture taken! Given the soft day that was in it and the fast-fading light, I was lucky to get the shot. And then I scarpered so mom and dad could get on with it.
Here’s wishing you some “soft days” to soothe your soul.