Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 17, 2017

Earth Concerns News

May the God of April Showers Bring Healing Rain by Sister Betsy Van Deusen, CSJ


April showers bring May flowers! Last month Chris Partisano reminded us about March=s coming in like a lion and out like a lamb. Yes, indeed! What is the image that comes into your mind when you think of April showers? For me, the image is that of the bulletin board of umbrellas (It must be we needed to learn the letter u!), ducks and lots of blue raindrops in my elementary classrooms. An April image I have from a number of years ago is my dad in the front yard of my childhood home fertilizing in the rain with his straw hat, boots and raincoat. He didn=t want to miss the opportunity to Aget it right in!@

For me now, April is a great treat because I love to walk in the rain! I like it when it is warm with a steady, drizzly rain! I even like to get Asoaked to the bone@! What is this April shower thing really about? After some investigating on the internet I learned that showers are a distinct form of the fall of precipitation, rain or snow. The accepted technical definition for shower is precipitation falling from a convective cloud, characterized by the suddenness with which it starts and stops, by rapid changes of intensity and usually rapid changes in the appearance of the sky. (The Weather Almanac)

In addition, I learned the following: In April, the upper atmosphere still retains much of the winter's cold temperatures, but below the earth's surface is nearly bare of snow and likely very moist. Warming air below and cold air above results in the rapid rise of warm bubbles of moist air.  Each bubble is generally capped with a cumulus cloud as soon as it reaches the condensation level.

When the conditions are right, these bubbles grow into larger clouds that form, at first, small raindrops in the ascending air. When the updrafts are strong, the drops will grow to larger sizes. Eventually, either the updraft collapses when the air is no longer sufficiently warm to continue rising, or the drops become too heavy for the updraft to support, and they fall to earth as rain. Because the updraft collapse may be sudden, the onset of rain is also sudden, thus giving the precipitation its showery character. (Keith C. Heidorn, The Weather Almanac)

My whole life I have looked forward to April Showers but, frankly, never really understood the first thing about them. When I pay attention, I can also find information and learn from many different sources in the course of a single day.  Michael W. Smith, a contemporary Christian artist, wrote a great song entitled AHealing Rain, @ that speaks of a rain that comes down and soaks the dry heart with healing. The seasons of Lent and Easter are really about allowing our God, the God of Creation and the Earth, the God of April showers and broken hearts, to wash over us and to bring healing rain, so that the Healing Reign may move boldly across our land!

 

(April 2006)