We’ve just had the first rain of the season, and apparently there’s more to come in the next twenty-four hours. And all of this reminds me of just how much I like rain.
Why? Here are four reasons.
1. It’s cozy. Monday afternoon, as both boys [amazingly!] napped, I made myself some homemade chai and curled up on the sofa with a stack of papers to grade. There was the soft but steady beat of rain on the roof above me, and our old brown couch was suddenly so warm and inviting, a little nest in the middle of a gray, wet world. It’s crazy to say this, but sitting there on the couch, with my steaming hot mug on the coffee table next to me, it was almost enjoyable to grade those papers. (I know; hell just got about ninety degrees colder.) I was, curiously, not resentful of the time I was devoting to them. This is the power of having hot spiced tea inside you and the pleasant drum of raindrops above you.
2. It gives the world that fresh, just-bathed smell. Monday evening, after the rain had stopped for a time, I threw open the living room window and just stood for a moment drinking in the scent of wet grass and damp flowerbeds. Intoxicating.
3. It gets me nostalgic for the past. As a kid, I adored rainy days. I’d put on my raincoat and my red Snoopy boots and take up my clear plastic umbrella, the one with the deliciously toxic smell, and I’d go wander alone in the rainy street outside our house, perfectly alone and perfectly content. I’d soak up the sight and smell and feel of the wet neighborhood, processing it all, enjoying the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts in such a new and different way. I guess it’s proof that I’ve always been an introvert: those afternoons are among my happiest childhood memories.
4. Rainy days invite contemplation. Maybe this is because they offer permission to nest, to dial back the “to do” list, to forget dashing out of the house on that errand that somehow seems a lot less important than it did before. Or maybe it’s because the rain pulls us subtly out of our complacency: Monday, as I graded those papers, I looked out from time to time at the front yard and thought about how different it looked as seen through the veil of slanting lines of rain. There are so many things in life — and people, and situations — that beg to be seem from a different angle, viewed from a new perspective. For this Californian, rainy days are a subconscious reminder of that, a little reminder that even the same old same old can hold surprises and unexpected beauty.