It’s raining. It’s been raining for hours, all day in fact. Now, at going on three thirty on a December afternoon the grey light we had all day is starting to fade. Everything is saturated. The ground is sodden. There are pools in the yard and on the road. The animals are still. The cows that have not been taken to the sheds are sitting in the wet. Horses stand under the bare branches of stunted hawthorn hedgerows where they can. Sheep stand in lines alone the dark stone walls. The rain is relentless there is no shelter for any creature that is out and above ground.
It goes from a constant heavy drizzle to prolonged showers lashing against the windows of our little cottage. I can hear it too on the roof. The gutters can just about cope. There used to be a leak, it used to drive me mad. I tried so many time s to find it. I fixed several possibilities. But every time it rained the drip would start in the bedroom. Then six weeks ago I was up there painting the chimney and I spotted a tiny speck of moss right on top of the cement apex covering the tiles. Moss, thought I, moss means water. I climbed down the roof ladder and the ladder leaning on the side of the house and got a screwdriver. Everything about hole was small. I only needed a little blade to poke the moss away and there it was, the place that let the water pass into the house. I had found it. (Had I found it?) Everything about the repair was over the top. Lashings of tacky black stuff. Long cuts of flashing to run over the site and all along the area in both directions.
I reported the finding as a possibility. Maybe the leak was fixed. Something was found wanting and repaired. There was a spot that needed attention. The next time it rained there were no drips. There was no talk of there being no drips. The spell was a delicate one and could be undone with talk. It may have been the right one, it may have been the place where the water got in. We’ll see. I have come to realize that tiny things cannot be held, they prefer to go unnoticed, to shift unseen and thus everything changes from these little points. We cannot impose certainty on tiny things. And so my approach called for a delicate consideration. As I pressed the flashing to the contours of the old cement, I pressed my longing to find a solution to the tiny point where the water got in. I hope I left the imprint of my need to be dry. I hope the water will notice the imprint of my need and run an exterior course from the roof.
I hear it now, wetting everything out there that is already beyond wet. Wetting everything and every creature that is already wet and dripping. We’re dry. We’re warm. The fire in the range has been heating the cottage since this morning. There is a stew in the oven. The dog is asleep. The Christmas lights cast a colourful reflection on the wet windows. It is almost dark now and still it comes. I could linger in the bedroom to listen. But I have come to a more subtle arrangement with the rain in who’s domain we have chosen to live.