August 27, 2012

5 On Rain

I love rain.
I grew up in Atlanta where it rains regularly, about two to three times a week. (Well, assuming there's no drought, but we're talking in generalizations here.)
Every August during my childhood there was a weather pattern that could be counted on like clockwork- extreme humidity and high temperatures all day, but then about 5PM the sky would get dark and grey. Thick clouds would roll in, so heavy they pressed down on the rooftops in the distance.
Then a crack of thunder would make us jump- a flash of lightning would make us stop whatever we were doing- and my sister and I would climb up into our loft space to lay on lounge chairs and watch through our big sky windows. 
The August 5PM thunderstorms were perfect.
They lasted about 30 minutes; heavy, adrenaline-rushing, and calming in their power.
Then they stopped. The sun re-emerged. The leaves dripped as the birds chirped.
And we went back outside.
I loved them.
The lightning bugs (fireflies) would come out about an hour later and we'd catch some in a jar with a few blades of grass. I didn't save them in the jar often; usually they were released just before bed. 
It rained a lot more in Athens (Georgia), three to five times a week and often for the better part of a day.  Heavy downpours that caused thick vegetation to crowd any space not carefully tended. Heavy downpours that were best enjoyed on a porch with a good book and a glass of lemonade. Heavy downpours that prompted puppy potty training to be done under umbrellas.
I loved them, too.

 In SE Idaho there is no rain. There is scorching sun, blinding wind, and thick layers of snow in the winter- but very little rain. 
I missed rain for those 3.5 years.
Paul missed rain for those 3.5 years.
When we learned we were moving to England, people told us "you'll miss the sun"; "it rains constantly". We responded that we'd had enough sun- painful, stay-inside sun. We welcomed the rain, the cooling and calming pitter-patter of rain.

England surprised us. There truthfully isn't a lot of actual rain- but the drizzle can be near-constant, and the dampness really does get into your bones; the stones of the houses get so thick with moisture you can feel it coming through. It's not so much rain as it is constant damp that gets into your soul.
But to be honest, I don't generally mind.
I own a couple of pairs of wellies, I own a couple of rain coats. The dogs both have raincoats.
I have an umbrella that makes me so happy I get excited to use it.

And when it rains- truly rains-
thick, each drop soaks through your clothes, makes you blink extra because it feels like crocodile tears are pouring down your face-
my heart feels peace. 
It's raining right now. It's been raining for a couple of hours. 
The dogs are passed out; even they are affected by the rain.
I can watch it run down our windows, listen to it tap out its rhythm on our conservatory roof.
And I feel content.

I love rain.


  1. What a perfect post to read on a rainy day :)

  2. I love the rain! Husband and I have been waiting for a good storm. Still waiting. :-)

  3. Got to love those Atlanta evening rain storms. Perfect for porch sitting.

  4. Although I would love a week of glorious sun, I completely agree that the rain here is peaceful; very different from the intense thunder and lightning storms I remember from home.

    And, I have similar memories of catching fireflies as a child and keeping them in a jar until right before bed!

  5. You should have been posted to Scotland...
    I caught fireflies in a jar on a trip to the States in 1992. Up til then I'd assumed that fireflies were made by Disney. Possibly the best holiday memory EVER.


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