Welcoming the falling rain

IMG_0513The rain, at first, came sweet and softly
as if to tease, as if to taunt me.
Light moisture perched upon my shoulder
gave subtle call to damp and colder.
No jacket yet, no need for shoes
this region’s rain is common news.
Yet, with each drop, it grew in size
and as a blanket, cloaked the sky.
Like the pitter and patter of baby’s toes
it giggled down in rows and rows.
And steadily shower spigots came
it rained, it rained, it rained and rained.
Buckets full, the rain came down
quenching thirst of parched Northwest ground.
I focused less on orange and red
seeking jacket, for rain, instead.
Still it drips and drops it seems
from peaks on high, low-valley streams.
It collects on leaves, in dirt, in pools
it sees no boundaries.
it knows no rules.
Rain’s song is loud, its lyrics, clear.
Rain’s presence—constant, important here.
This land, it breathes, because of rain.
The moment it goes, it comes again.
So think a moment before you shout, “What is all this noise about?”
Learn to listen, beyond the racket.
Go outside.
Don’t forget your jacket.

Below are a variety of photos taken of rain’s welcome here at the North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center.

Full fall colors with rainA glossy coat of rain covers vine maple leaves, vibrant with fall colors
Medium puddleIn low pockets, puddles abound at the Learning Center
Deer creekDeer Creek runs anew with the replenishment of fall rain
Learning center with low cloudsLow clouds conceal Sourdough Mountain’s hillsides, as seen at the Learning Center

Here at the Environmental Learning Center, we are welcoming the fall rain by getting outside and playing in it with our many Mountain School students. How are you welcoming in the first big rain of the fall season?

Photos courtesy of Kelsi K. Franzen.


  1. Stephen Quimby

    I love this poem Kelsi! You really personified the rain, and I could feel it! Great job!

  2. Christian

    Your combination of poetry and photography is very effective in sharing the ephemeral shiftings of the season. I really appreciate the puddle picture in particular, and note that writing good poetry, in rhyme no less, is a big challenge. Nice work and thanks for sharing with us lowlanders!

  3. Tanya Anderson

    Awesome celebration of the beauty we have found in the rain and fog this fall!

  4. Leslie Franzen

    Love your poetry and photography! We celebrated the first huge rain you describe by standing out in it for over 2 hours at a homecoming football game! Thank heavens it was a “warm” rain for the PNW!

  5. Laura

    Really nice Kelsi – I am loving the fresh feel that the rain gives the forest!

  6. John Miles

    Kelsi, I’ve wondered often how you intrepid outdoor teachers coped with the rain (more in the past than this beautiful fall), and your piece here expresses well the rewards of opening up to the rain. Beautiful. Thank you.

  7. Rebecca

    Beautiful post – I’m not from the NW, but we’re having the same drippy weather here in the Nation’s ‘icebox’ (our high temps are your low temps though, unfortunately.) Thanks for sharing a glimpse (and poetry) of your breathtaking surroundings.

  8. Tanya

    Lovely poem, and I am enjoying your photos and reflections very much.

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