Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


Joy Of Nature

Wanderlino Arruda

Earlier than usual, Olimpia woke me up, before six, and told me that it was raining. She wanted to know if I had brought in the clothes off the clothesline, as she had asked me to do last night, when I arrived from the University.
Being the perfect husband, I sleepily mumbled yes, and was suddenly taken by a wonderfully peaceful feeling, remembering breathing in the sweet perfume of the fresh, clean clothes, so grateful for my cherished family life. All of us, mortals, I thought to myself, should sing a daily hymn, in homage to washerwomen, gentle creatures that permit us to live in comfort, cleanliness and health. How wonderful it is to awake, feeling like this. Nothing beats happiness…especially in the early morning.
Then, already up and about, I strolled around the backyard. It was growing daylight. Even though a misty fog was coming down, a delicious smell of rain swept across the hillside, beginning of the rainy season after the long, bitter drought. Great! Except for one thing. I had overlooked some towels on the clothesline last night. They were hung on the dark side of the yard, hidden where the spotlight doesn’t reach. Even more, I had also purposely left some of the kids’ jeans there, which were still a little damp at the time. Well, by this time, everything was dripping wet, tiny, translucent, much welcome drops of silver, rebirth of spring, generous, full, worthy of gratitude, both ours and Nature’s. A spectacle of life that, even if not that interesting to a housewife; to me – always the dreamer – it is and always will be…a poetic enchantment! Once again, all is at peace…
Once, I don’t know why, in the middle of a conversation at the office, my friend Pedro Narciso, began telling me about his marvelous farm life, and commented on how, after only a few days of rain, there was already enough pasture to feed the herd. He told how his cattle voraciously devoured the first tender green sprouts of spring. One insignificant blade of grass, however small, is a motive of glee to these docile beings. A branch, garnished with luscious leaves, no matter how high up, is enough motive for a cow’s instinctive urges to come into play. With outstretched necks and tongues dripping with desire, relishing new flavors in the living emerald pastures, still feeling the insistent hunger pains inside, intensified by months of drought and famine. These are grateful scenes, the docile animals demonstrating joy, Man experiencing it like this, and, naturally, without mysticism, thanking God for the return of the newly painted, dark-green pastures, substituting the brown-grays and ash-yellows of the dry season with vibrant living colors, transforming the pale tones and dust into new life.
During a few minutes of the next day, standing in the window, watching the morning rain and reminiscing about past experiences, I wove the canvas of this tale.
Joyful, so joyful, giving grace for this transcendental vision, the poetic, the artistic, a reality offered to me at the moment. I then returned and thanked my wife for the favor of waking me up so early.... In any case, are there any better moments for us to be grateful for than for those of joy?

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