The Gift of Rain

“Nothing reminds us of an awakening more than rain.” ― Dejan Stojanovic

Gift of Rain

I am standing on the porch watching the rain come. It is beautiful. It seems to dance on the glistening foliage before falling to the ground and then releases its earthy aroma. Last rays of sunshine filter through the canopy making the magenta bougainvillea even more vibrant. For having a small urban lot, we have created our own jungle paradise, I’m thinking, which brings us joy and much-needed privacy. The palms, banana trees, Schefflera (umbrella tree) tall white bird of paradise and four large mango trees hide us from the street.

The sound of the rain has its effects. It triggers memories of a distant rain forest.

My mind takes me to the wide veranda of the Asa Wright Nature Center in Trinidad, a Caribbean island lying off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. High up in the mountains, Asa Wright is located on a former cocoa-coffee-citrus plantation surrounded by lush rainforest. With binoculars, we watched the jungle come to life with colorful and exotic birds in their natural habitat. The toucans were my favorite.

We stayed in a cottage behind the main house and every night we went to sleep with the steady rhythm of the rain and smelled that same earthy aroma. Every morning we were awakened by a raucous cry of green parrots arriving in the mango tree by our window, telling us it was time to get up. The sheets we slept under and the so-called dry clothes we put on every morning always felt damp, but a hot cup of tea on the veranda while watching the birds through the misty canopy was well worth it. Ponchos were worn daily as we walked through the rainforest with our guide, who helped us identify birds on our lengthy Audubon bird list.

Vivid memories.

Instead of macaws and toucans flying through my yard, I settle for the cardinal that comes and drinks water out of the bloom of the white bird of paradise.

Gift of Rain

And I am content to watch the pelicans in formation, fly overhead to get back home. I am content to know the egrets, blue herons, and yellow-crowned night herons are tucked away in the mangroves by the dock and are safe.

It is time to go in, now. The rain is coming down harder and lightening and thunder are accompanying it.

But first, one last look at our little rainforest.

Gift of Rain Gift of Rain




About travelerlynne

Traveler. Writer. Retired Educator.Traveling on and off the beaten path with my photographer husband. Volunteering locally as well as in Haiti and Tanzania, an enriching and humbling experience. A sun lover! Shelling, boating, fishing and watching sunsets. Growing mango, banana, key lime,and pineapple.Making smoothies and chutneys. Enjoying family and friends! Savoring each new day!
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38 Responses to The Gift of Rain

  1. Madhu says:

    The smell of rain is such a huge nostalgia trigger for me too Lynne. Love your gorgeously lush garden. That has to be the largest schefflera I have ever seen! 🙂

    • We seem to have the biggest schefflera around. It needs some pruning but it totally blocks us from the street, as you can see. And I wouldn’t give it up for anything, even when I feel its roots are going to lift the house up off its foundation. 🙂 I expect your years on the tea plantation bring back memories of rain, Madhu. Thanks for commenting,

  2. vbholmes says:

    What a treat to see your gorgeous plantngs–especially since we are only four days free from a snow-covered yard and are now surrounded by winter-weary grass and bushes, bare tree branches and garden soil yet unmarred by the sun-seeking greenery of Spring bulbs. I envy you your lovely spot in which to enjoy the rain.

    • Sounds like you need a Florida fix, VB. Yet, there is something magic about Springtime up north and watching the season unfold. I miss the bulbs. You have winter-weary grass and this summer I will be looking at sunburned grass. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Letizia says:

    I love that quotation by Dejan Stojanovic and your beautiful garden. There is something so refreshing about a rainstorm, it’s true. Here, nature played a little April Fool’s Day joke on us and gave us some snow, but just a little. It’s quite pretty and, we hope, the last of the season.

  4. The azaleas are lovely, and I had forgotten that it’s spring up there, and there’s an explosion of color! I love your little rain forest! Z

    • Actually, Lisa, azaleas don’t grow this far south, but what you are looking at is bougainvillea that is joyfully overgrown. Before long, it will be pruning time. Unfortunately the allergies don’t like all that is blooming. I hope yours are better.

      • wow! i’m going to have to go back and look again! would you believe that azaleas grow here in ecuador? they bloom off and on throughout the year. there’s one old bush at my friends’ home in mindo. on sunday i admired a magnolia in bloom in quito. haven’t seen wisteria yet…

  5. Margie Michener says:

    Well done, Lynne! I, too, always love sitting on your veranda and looking down on your wonderful, very real bit of Paradise! You are absolutely amazing – and I am truly sooo fortunate to be your neighbor!

  6. Now that you can once again climb steps,Margie, you are welcome to join me any time on my porch. Thanks for reading and your lovely comment. You are a dear friend.

  7. Your garden is absolutely delightful, Lynne. What lovely memories of your jungle holiday and the wonderful birds. Reminds me of our Costa Rica experience. We haven’t had very much rain here, but we did get some thunder and just enough rain to freshen everything up for a while. Your pink azalea is really gorgeous.

  8. Thanks, Sylvia. We love our privacy and adding layers of vegetation over the years has paid off. I’ve not been to Costa Rica, but it is on the list. I hear it is absolutely beautiful and diverse. By the way, the pink is bougainvillea which really needs a good pruning after the blooms are gone. Since we live in a stilt house, the porch is upstairs and looks out on the “rain forest”. That bougainvillea has grown up over an arbor and has spilled onto the porch. Amazing plant. 🙂

  9. Oh, how I miss the rain. Your post was refreshing. Sigh. We have another month to go of wicked heat and no rain Can I come and sit on your veranda and listen to the rain?

  10. Absolutely! But I think it was a one time, early rain, because our rains don’t really come until June. What was nice about that rain is that it continued well into the night. We sure need it, though. Everything is thirsty.

  11. Vicki Matsko says:

    It truly does look like a rain forest! So beautiful! A blessed happy Easter to you and Ron! >

  12. Hi Vicki. Thank you for your lovely comment. And, blessings to you and Ken this Easter Season. We’ll have to have the group over and enjoy the rainforest, food and fun. 🙂

  13. restlessjo says:

    Very timeous, Lynne! I am being ‘gifted’ as we speak 🙂 English rain doesn’t have the same glamour somehow. 🙂 But I love your cosy corner home and if I close my eyes I can see and smell the aromas. Happy Easter to you and Ron!

  14. Happy Easter to you, Jo. However, I hope it is a sunshiny day. 🌞 No rain on Easter parades or egg hunts. I do get spoiled with our little patch of paradise and try not to take it for granted. 🌴🌴

  15. amkuska says:

    My childhood was plagued by bougainvillea thorns stabbing me in the feet and arms. >.< Pretty, but so painful!

  16. Lynne, what a gorgeous paradise you have created in your own backyard – an ideal place to enjoy the present, and reminisce about your special past experiences. How long have you lived here?

  17. Hi Tricia. We’ve retired and moved to Pine Island 11 years ago. The first thing we did was start with the landscaping. There was very little vegetation on this very forlorn piece of property when we purchased it and are amazed at the rapid growth of everything we planted. Now, our focus is keeping it from taking over. 🙂

  18. I love the view from your porch – you two have an amazing back yard. Wonderful post.

  19. Thanks,Carol. We’ve just done some spring pruning and it looks so bare, but it will all grow back in no time. Have had some good rains this week. We need it.

  20. It is raining here too, out in the midwest. We have nothing like your luxurious garden and the rain is cold but still it is Good. Even though it keeps me inside the house or the barn for much of the day.. have a good one.. c

    • Life giving rain. What would we do without it, Cecelia? With your garden and farm and obvious seasons, it must be thrilling to watch spring take hold. Our seasons are wet and dry. Hurricane and non hurricane. Thanks for your comment.

  21. megtraveling says:

    I like the rain too – I now remember to take an umbrella along so it doesn’t stop me from seeing everything!

  22. Good idea, Meg. Rain or shine, we should still be able to enjoy ourselves. ☔️

  23. cindy knoke says:

    Oh wow this is so beautiful, as is you writing Lynne!

  24. What a sweet thing to say, Cindy.

  25. restlessjo says:

    Are you working on a book or some such exciting project, Lynne? You haven’t posted in the longest time. (I keep peeking 🙂 ) Very best wishes to you and Ron.

  26. The sound, smell and feel of rain is a favorite with me. Your vivid pictures are always a perfect fit with you writing!

  27. Tahira says:

    Your lush gorgeous personal little jungle is divine! I am beyond behind in catching up with my favorite blogs, but this especially was a special treat to feast my eyes on today. Thank you for sharing, Lynne!

  28. It’s a treat to hear from you, Tahira. Understandably, your focus is getting ready for Aug. 16th. Am pleased our little paradise was up lifting. 🙂

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