When I was in elementary school, I had a music teacher named Mrs. DeRouville. I loved that woman, and in my adulthood, when I remember her, I elevate her even to the status of a saint. She must have been! How else could a single woman have taught hundreds of unruly schoolchildren each year to sing the songs that make up our cultural history? I remember still a good portion of the music she patiently taught us, all those folk songs and patriotic anthems. Now I sing them to my children and hope to pass a little bit of the music she gave us on to the next generation. As homeschoolers, we often make sure our children memorize an impressive array of poetry, but it is just as nice to have a store of good music to call upon in times of need.
On these interminably gray rainy days on which the sun is a rare guest, I think of this spiritual Mrs. DeRouville taught us about the Great Flood:
Oh, it rained for forty days and forty nights without a-stopping
Oh, it rained so hard that the water stopped a-dropping
Didn’t it rain, children, my Lord, didn’t it a-rain.
Our weather has been unusually mild this month, and the rain has been falling steadily, but fairly gently, so that the ground is deeply and thoroughly saturated. Our pond is overflowing, and the runoff has pooled in the low ground of the pasture. The drive is newly rutted with tire tracks. Cows and people avoid the back of the barn as much as possible, for the deep, sucking mud doesn’t easily release its prey. We don’t wander off the paved areas lest we churn our scanty lawn into bare, brown earth.
But we look at each other and say, “Thank the Lord it isn’t cold!” For if all this rain had fallen as snow, we’d be up to our ears in it, and we’re just not cut out for that around here.