January13, 2018
JAN 4 CKHS RAINCoverJoin the Cedar Key Historical Society and award-winning Florida author Cynthia Barnett at the Community Center at 10 a.m. January 18th for her program Rain: A history for stormy times.

Barnett, a former Cedar Key resident who still writes on the island, will talk about her latest book, Rain, long-listed for the National Book Award, gold medal winner for best general nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson award for literary science writing.

The program is the first in a 2018 series of lectures hosted by the Cedar Key Historical Society in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council.JAN 4 CKHS CynthiaBarnettAuthorPhoto

Join us Thursday Jan. 18th at 10 a.m., 809 6th Street, for a natural and cultural tour of RAIN, from the torrents that filled the oceans four billion years ago to the modern story of climate change. A wellspring of life, rain also has a place in our souls. In an ancient perfume region in northern India, villagers bottle the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth, while in Manchester, England, and America’s Seattle, leaden skies helped inspire Morrissey and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. The scents and songs capture rain in small ways. Humans have long been convinced we could control the atmosphere with ideas much bigger, from the Roman rain god Jupiter Pluvius to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straightjacket the Mississippi River.

Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. Changing rainfall patterns are some of the earliest tremors of our warming globe. Armed with computer models looking forward, there is also much to learn from looking back. Too much and not enough, rain is an experience we share. Its history has much to tell us about coming together to live more ethically with water – and adapt to the stormy times ahead. 

Join Barnett on her Facebook page