In the Rain

“Drenched by a summer downpour or softened by spring rain, I have felt an aspect of freedom,” writes Ama Codjoe in her essay “An Aspect of Freedom,” included in the anthology A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing From Soil to Stars (Milkweed Editions, 2023) edited by Erin Sharkey. In the essay Codjoe explores her relationship with rain through the lens of freedom, using personal anecdotes, historical events, and photographs taken during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. “In the rain, or in the ocean, or in a flood of people singing freedom songs and calling the names of our unjustly killed, I feel a part of nature, a part of nature’s self, which may be anything that gives nourishment and everything that breathes,” writes Codjoe. In expectation of the upcoming fertile season, write an essay that explores your relationship with spring rain. As you write, take inspiration from Codjoe’s essay and consider the question: When do you feel most free?