… bring May flowers. Or so it’s said. I’ve been known to bitch and moan about rain, after about the third or fourth day in a row of getting soaked. Of having to make a run for it. Of walking around with wet shoes, and wet feet. Which is why, as much as I love Vancouver, beautiful as it is, I think I’d have a hard time living there. All that rain (and miserable, grey skies) can be very depressing.
But there are times I love the rain.
I had a friend, years ago, whose parents had a cottage up north, in the Laurentian Mountains (about an hour north of Montreal). I loved their house, because it had a huge screened-in front porch. It was the size of a living room; and, truth be told, everyone sat there, most of the time. It had a bluish grey painted hardwood floor, and lots of over-sized, over-stuffed, mis-matched, comfy furniture.
My favourite was a big old iron-framed daybed that was pushed right up against one of the screened windows. It was covered with a few differently-patterned cotton quilts, a couple of old, faded blankets and lots of squishy pillows. Sometimes I slept there all night.
But what I loved most, was curling up on it, covered in one or two of the quilts, when it rained, during the day. I could hear the rain on the roof, and between that repetitious tap, tap, tapping and watching the sheets of rain coming down, pounding against the screens, it was hypnotic. It put me into a trance. Depending on how heavily it was pouring, I may even have gotten a bit wet, but I never cared.
Sometimes I’d do nothing. I’d just lay there, with my eyes closed, drifting in and out of sleep. And sometimes I’d read. I’d stop and listen for a while. And nap for a while. Wake up again. Read a bit more. Nap a bit more. Just lay there and daydream. Until I got lulled back to sleep again.
Is there a better way to spend a day? I don’t think so. I wonder what happened to that house. I wonder what happened to that family. It was so long ago that I knew them. What a wonderful place that would be, to hide away, while I finish writing my book.
When it rains in the tropics, it’s also lovely. On a vacation in the Bahamas I was surprised when, everyday at the same time, three o’clock in the afternoon, it would rain for 15 minutes. While the sun was shining. No one ever paid attention to it. No one ever moved from the beach or the pool or the tennis courts, or hanging their laundry outside to dry, except the tourists who were experiencing it for the first time. And after a day or two, even we stopped noticing.
In fact it was a brief, but welcome, respite from the heat. Everything, including us, would get soaked. And in an instant, the minute the showers stopped, everything would be dry again. As if it had never rained. The pause that refreshes. And then it’s over, until the next day. At the same time.
Another thing I love to do, is swim in the lake when it’s raining. Or, to be more accurate, loved to do, because I haven’t done it in ages. When I went to summer camp, whenever it rained they’d herd us all down to the lake, even at night. To me, it always felt like the water was warmer, when it was raining. And softer, as well. It just all felt so good. They’d have to drag us out.
And nothing, and I mean nothing, smells as good as freshly-mown grass, after it rains. It’s indescribable. Clean. Fresh. Pure. Untouched. Almost sweet. I just love it! Even in the city, where the scent of the grass is forced to mingle with food odours and exhaust fumes and whatever else, you can still catch me, standing still, inhaling deeply, after a rainfall, if I happen to be near some grass.
So, yes. Rain can be gloomy. It can darken your mood. But it can also be beautiful, romantic and uplifting. On that note, I’ll leave you with this Jerry Chin quote:
“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”