“Man, it’s hot,” I said to Marilyn, as I wiped the sweat from my forehead.

“It sure is,” she replied. Marilyn dislikes the extreme hot weather as much as I.

It has been in the mid to upper 90’s for about two weeks now, with less than a quarter of an inch of rain. We were walking through our gardens examining the effects that the hot dry weather has had on the plants. I have been watering most of the plants every other day for the past week, but this weather was taking it’s toll. The soil was so dry that it had large cracks in it, and the cracks were getting wider every day. It seemed that no matter how much I watered, the plants would recover for a day and then start to droop again.

“Chance of rain 50%,” the weatherman would say, but it didn’t happen. The next day he would say 60%, but still nothing. Then for several days he would say “No chance of rain for the next couple of days.” I was starting to worry about our gardens. The cracks in the garden soil widened, no matter how much I watered.

“The water bill is really going to be something this month,” Marilyn said. “I wonder if it is all worth it?”

I was beginning to wonder too. The garden was looking bad.

We tuned the TV to the local mid-day news, waiting for the weather forecast. “Today’s high temperature will be 96 degrees with a chance of pop-up showers,” the weatherman said. I figured that chance of showers was pretty much nil. Maybe less.

About 2 o’clock the sky started to darken, the wind picked up, and the temperature dropped noticeably. “I think the rain is finally coming,” Marilyn said.

“I hope so, but I wouldn’t bet on it,” I said. Then we heard thunder, it sounded a long way off but it was definitely thunder. We heard it again, then again. Each clap of thunder sounded closer to us. A flash of lightning caught our attention, then more lightning. “I think you’re right,” I said to Marilyn, “A storm is coming.”

It didn’t start with a shower, it didn’t start with a trickle, the sky let loose in with all it had. A downpour, it rained hard for about two hours. The soil drank in the rainwater like a dry sponge soaks up a spill. It rained and it rained some more. You could almost see the plants rejoicing. I went out on the back porch to enjoy the rainfall. I watched the rain fall onto the parched ground. Then I stepped off of the porch and into the rain. It felt good, it was refreshing. I looked up into the sky as the rain poured down on me, with both hands I pushed my hair back across the top of my head and let the rain fall on me. I felt like it was as good for me as it was for the gardens.

“The grass looks greener already,” Marilyn said. I had to agree, everything looked better. Two hours of rain changed everything, just two hours of rain.

The garden looks so much better now, most of the cracks in the soil have disappeared. There are a few small soil cracks left after the storm, but I prefer to think of them as smiles, not cracks. And all of this after only two hours.

I am going to try to remember that two hours can make a difference in something, someone, somewhere, anything, anywhere, everything, or maybe nothing. But what happens in two hours can make a difference, I think. Sometimes, at least this time.