You see it coming, you feel it in your bones and you can smell it in the air. When you get caught out in the middle of it you may be happy to be stuck there with the person who gives you butterflies, or you may be grumpy and annoyed that your game of basketball has been interrupted. But if you’re playing football, volleyball or rugby, it intensifies the amusement and prolongs the entertainment value. It feels like you’re running under water because in truth, you are.
Say what you will about it, but there is something very calming about rainy days. When it rains through the night, the gentle pitter-patter on your window pane is the silent drum that guides you towards the dreamland of your choice. And if it rains into the morning, nothing makes you want to stay under the covers, bundle up and uninterrupted in your semi-conscious bliss, your body pleading with your mind to stay in bed until dusk.
I am a brooding, gloomy person at heart so the pensive nature of rain brings out the best in me. I write better when there is rain. I think clearer when it rains. I am sentimental, sappy, indulgent, selfish and yet at the same time giving when it rains. I am an emotional, preoccupied, perceptive and believe it or not sensitive sap when it rains. Rain is the sometimes gentle, always soothing, sometimes course and seldom unnatural catalyst for contemplation and inspiration.
Here’s an odd thought – Whenever I lived near a beach I rarely went to spend time there during the heat of the day when the sun was beating down and those who worshiped its rays sat out and soaked it up as if it was the last day of sunshine they would ever see on earth. I on the other hand, rushed down to the beach when it rained because there was something about a desolate, lonely shoreline where the complementary opacity of the ocean and the sky merged together to create one solid connection between the heavens and the earth and time literally felt as if it was standing still. It is in that moment that nature is at its most powerful and also its most vulnerable.
Rain slows down time.
As a kid I recall hating rainy days because it thwarted all of our well laid plans for the weekends when school was out and we wanted nothing more than to be out and about, terrorizing the neighborhood. In hindsight, rain saved me from spending a lot of time in lock up at the county jail for terrorizing the neighborhood as an adult. When it rained I could spend hours reading a book, writing in a journal or just staring out the window as the rain washed the world. From oil stained driveways and dusty car hoods to chalky house paint, everything was washed clean by rain.
Rain brings us closer.
In Samoa we had torrential rains that wiped out bridges and forced us to wade through knee-deep, sometimes waist-deep water to get from one end of the village to the next. In our home in Pesega one monsoon year, we had to stack our furniture on top of the tables to prevent it from getting soaked through and used brooms to sweep excess water out of our home. But outside when the chores were done and our belongings were secured, there was nothing more exhilarating than playing in the rain.
And in the evening in the villages while the rain continued to come down in sheets, the sight of families huddled together from one house to the next, sitting together in the dim light of kerosene lamps, reading books or talking-story, having a good laugh, every spirit fueled by the warm, soothing, aromatic sweetness of koko Samoa and the unifying comfort and security of being surrounded by loved ones into the dark chilly hours of night.
It rained today and nothing felt better after; nothing felt more invigorating; nothing felt more right after the chaos and stifling heat of summer.
I love the rain.