By Si Cook
TFB Organization Director
I was in South Texas the last weekend in April trying to accomplish a week’s worth of ranch work in one day. On Saturday, my time was cut short by a strange and wonderful event–a three-and-a-half inch rain!
The rain started late in the afternoon and came down just the way you want it to–heavy, steady and without any hail or damaging winds. It was also punctuated with occasional rolling thunder–just to remind us all of who is really in charge! About 30 minutes after it started, I did something I rarely do–I sat down and just watched! I did this from under a tin roof which, as all country folks know, is the very best way to get maximum enjoyment out of good rain. As I sat there and enjoyed the end of the day, I started to think and reflect–which will often happen if we just take the time to do it.
The first thing that got me thinking was that several good friends from different parts of the state dinged me via email and text asking if I was receiving rain. They all have weather radar on their phones and keep up with it! I promptly reported and, even though they were not getting a drop, expressed their approval of my good fortune. There was no jealousy or resentment that I was being blessed as they were being denied–just genuine pleasure for me and the knowledge that their time would come–and I would be pleased for them when it did. The agriculture community is like that. We enjoy the good fortune of others and rest assured in the knowledge that our time will come.
The second thing that I pondered that afternoon was the need for, and gift of, patience (of which my wife tells me I have none!). In this world of instant gratification it, waiting patiently for something, is a lost art. In the case of a good rain however, none of us has a choice. All the fretting, hand wringing, pacing and impatience in the world will not bring a good rain one day closer. Having to wait also makes you appreciate something even more when it does come. People in agriculture understand this better than most. I challenge you to name anything that is more appreciated and relished in farm and ranch country than a good rain after a long dry spell.
The rain provided a long overdue opportunity to stop and think about important things. Good friends who share the joy of your good fortune. Good people who patiently and confidently wait for things they need that are completely out of their control. These are the characteristics of agriculture and the people who make their living from it. The rest of the population could learn a lot from under a tin roof in a good rain.