As I ambled toward the subway after class tonight, I noticed the leaves were upturned in a certain way that makes old wives say, “It’s going to rain.” It seems to me that this is always true. If all of the leaves on a tree have their bottoms turned up, it rains. If it’s windy but the bottoms stay more or less toward the ground, it doesn’t rain.
Another, although less practical, way for city dwellers, to predict the rain is to note if a herd of cattle is laying down. If they are, it’s going to rain.
Of course, today, it wouldn’t have been tough to predict the rain. It’s been raining on and off all day.
Somehow all this got me thinking about my uncle. My uncle can do the most amazing thing. He can divine water.
I guess there isn’t much call for it these days, most people where he lives are on a city system, but when we all lived up north, I guess people would call him up. He’d go with his willow branch, or maybe he’d find one on their property, and the branch would tell him where the water was. Then they’d dig their well.
How in the world, I wonder, do you even realize you have such a superpower? How does it even work? Not everyone can divine water. I can’t, although once I would swear that I made it rain (that was the end of my foray into witchcraft). In my mind, divining water would seem related to other mystical pursuits like communing with spirits, reading auras and energy therapies such as Reiki. But one look at my uncle, shirt tucked neatly into jeans, not a hair out of place, meat and potatoes on his plate – my theory collapses.