Yesterday was beautiful here. Sunny. Warm. Just lovely. But this morning, as I sit here writing, it’s back to what is fast becoming usual for this summer. It’s dark. Grey. Overcast. Foggy. Somewhat humid. And raining.
It’s not a surprise. It was in the forecast. But I was hoping they’d be wrong. That I’d wake up to sunny skies. Didn’t happen. Funny how, when the weather’s supposed to be bad, they’re always right. It’s only when we’re promised a nice day, it turns out they’ve made a mistake.
In an effort to get myself out of the rainy day doldrums, I’ve decided to find something positive about the rain. Which was the subject, ironically enough, of yesterday’s WordPress Daily Prompt: “Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof … describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.”
Can’t get much more positive than that, don’t you think?
So what’s mine? Do I have one? Let me think about it for a minute. My perfect, rainy afternoon.
Well, actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I do. I have a few of them.
Have you ever gone swimming in the rain? I have. When I was a kid, in summer camp. Obviously whenever it rained it put the kibosh on volleyball and softball and tennis and all the other outdoor activities we spent our days doing. I suppose they could have let us stay indoors. We could have painted and made lanyards or ashtrays and all manner of other ‘gifts’ we gave our parents when camp was over for another year.
But instead, whenever it rained they’d haul us all down to the lake and we’d go swimming. Unless, of course, it was lightening. Obviously we’d stay indoors when it was really stormy. But on those normal summer rainy days, we’d swim. It was beautiful. I loved it. First of all, the lake was always warmer when it rained. A lot warmer. Almost like you were in a bath. And the water was ‘softer’.
You could really feel the difference. I can still feel it, now. Silky. Comforting, actually. Same feeling you have when drinking warm tea. Except it’s how your entire body felt. And we were wet anyway, so what difference did it make if it was raining on us? If our faces were getting pelted.
Exactly. It made no difference at all. And it was just such a liberating feeling. When most people would have been taking cover, we were outside, refusing to let the weather ruin our day.
To tell you the truth, we were sorry when the rain stopped.
Tropical rain is also nice. I remember a vacation I had in Nassau, years and years ago. It rained every single afternoon, at precisely the same time. 3 o’clock. Not a minute before. Not a minute after. 3 o’clock on the dot. You could set your watch to it. It wouldn’t cloud over. There’d you be. On the beach. Or at the pool. Playing tennis or golf. Or just wandering. The sun would be shining brightly. Not a cloud in the sky. And poof!
No warning at all. Just a sudden downpour. While the sun was shining. For fifteen minutes. Exactly fifteen minutes. Not a minute shorter. Not a minute longer. Just fifteen minutes. And exactly the way it suddenly appeared, it disappeared. Simply stopped.
Nobody ever stopped doing whatever it is they were doing. Waiters continued to serve drinks at the outdoor bars. And food, as well. Chefs continued to BBQ. Tennis players continued to play. So did golfers. Everyone stayed outdoors. No one ran inside. What I loved about it, most of all, was how hot the rain was. Yes, it was hot. Just like standing under a steaming shower.
And then, when it was over, it took seconds for everything to dry. You’d literally blink and it was like you’d imagined the rain. And that would be that. Until the next day. At the same time.
Come to think of it, rainy days in the country are also wonderful. When you’re at a cottage. I think those are my favourite rainy afternoons. Especially when the cottage has a screened-in porch. With big, old, comfy chairs and sofas on it. Nothing better than curling up with a good book, some lemonade and and some cookies, on the porch, in the rain.
For that matter, I don’t even have to read. Just daydreaming’s good. Cuddled up, maybe under a lightweight summer quilt, staring out at the rain. It’s hypnotic. I also love the sound of the rain. Especially on a tin roof. Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat. It’s so soothing. Calming. I always end up falling asleep. And is there anything better than the smell of freshly-cut grass, after it rains? It’s so fresh and pure. I love it. It so symbolic of summer.
I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to feel better about the rain. Maybe it’s just in the city I don’t like it. In the city we always have so much to do, so many chores, the rain is an inconvenience. In the city we’re in ‘city’ clothes and shoes. We need umbrellas to try to stay dry. Dodging puddles is a pain. Traffic is always snarled when it rains. People get surly. And stressed.
But when we’re in a relaxed environment, we don’t care as much. Maybe I’ll just forget the chores for today. I may be in the city and I may not have a screened-in porch, or a lake inviting me to take a dip, or a bartender mixing me a pina colada, but I do have a balcony. And lots of Bob Marley music on my iPad.
Ooh, yeah …