Each year, when the land heats up faster than the surrounding ocean, the usual air currents are reversed over most of India, drawing huge amounts of moisture into a month-long storm known as the monsoon.

Rice farmers depend on this deluge every year to flood their fields and support their crops. Rice grows best in standing water and our 60 acres are no exception. Add the intense heat and humidity that usually follows most rains and you have ideal rice conditions.

Flooded fields are perfect for growing rice.

Flooded fields are perfect for growing rice.

Still, a storm of this size does come with its challenges. Laundry can be difficult to dry. Cooking outdoors, as we often do, can be difficult. Even walking to school can be a soggy, inconvenient stroll.

Our church steeple with dark clouds rolling in.

Our church steeple with dark clouds rolling in.

Aaron and his favorite Uncle Joey enjoying the downpour.

Aaron and his favorite Uncle Joey enjoying the downpour.

School uniforms waiting for some sun.

School uniforms waiting for some sun.

Rajesh not taking any chances with his dry school clothes.

Rajesh not taking any chances with his dry school clothes.

Dylan isn't worried about getting wet...or much of anything, really.

Dylan isn’t worried about getting wet…or much of anything, really.

But the farm does get amazingly green this time of year with the grass shooting up at record speeds. Our cows do their best to graze the surplus away, chomping happily from mornings to night—but even so, it doesn’t take long for the property to look like a shaggy green carpet in need of a summer trim.

One storm-related tragedy happened this week when three of our cows were electrocuted near our school. Apparently a live power line had come loose in a storm, touching its cement utility pole, and sending deadly current into the standing water on the ground below. The unlucky cows standing shin deep in that water never stood a chance. It is a big hit to us -the three cows were some of our best milk providers and worth about $1000 each. Auntie Josie, the dairy in-charge, was heartbroken and wept bitterly over their loss.

Working hard to keep the grass at bay.

Working hard to keep the grass at bay.

Auntie Josie loves each of the cows in her care.

Auntie Josie loves each of the cows in her care.

We’ve already received our yearly rainfall (more than 25 inches!) with more expected before the monsoon dries up. But it doesn’t rain all the time.

This week during one such break in the rainy action, we put everyone to work, cutting grass, pulling weeds, generally tidying up the place.

Grass is cut with small hand sickles known as hussias and it’s a slow but effective way to trim a lawn when man power is not an issue. Kids of all ages pitched in, chopping, hauling, raking and reclaiming the Mission from the monsoon’s lush influence. There was even time for a little marble play afterwards, taking advantage of some dry ground that never lasts long this time of year.

Ram Pal, Kevin and Jenny pitching in.

Ram Pal, Kevin and Jenny pitching in.

Ram Pal wanted to show how hard his hands were working.

Ram Pal wanted to show how hard his hands were working.

Trudy takes a break in her hand mowing.

Trudy takes a break in her hand mowing.

 This is what they cut with, one handful at a time.


This is what they cut with, one handful at a time.

Kamal raking up the wood pile. He only found two snakes.

Kamal raking up the wood pile. He only found two snakes.

Dennis and Kevin moving weeds...or about to move them.

Dennis and Kevin moving weeds…or about to move them.

Seeya, Kushi and Sheetal ready for a marble battle.

Seeya, Kushi and Sheetal ready for a marble battle.

Hundreds of marbles trade hands when the ground is dry.

Hundreds of marbles trade hands when the ground is dry.

It’s raining again at the moment, with sheets of water dripping from a black sky. For now, clothes will dry indoors, walls may leak a little, but we give thanks for the many blessings that—like the monsoon—flow in such rich abundance all around us.

This post was originally from www.johnmarshall.com