Thoughts about rain on this rainy day

This photograph for this post was taken in the Bahamas. We were there for a Christmas vacation. It is so insanely beautiful. The water is a remarkable blue, and looks rather surreal, almost like someone dropped a vat of blue dye into the ocean! This photo does not do it justice.

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The Bahamas resort was lovely. There were multiple pools and restaurants (all were delicious, and all-inclusive!) and we spent many hours sitting on the beach enjoying the view. I brought a couple books to read on the beach, but didn’t even open a single one, because I was mostly enjoying the breeze and the sound of the ocean.

My Bahama memories are full of sun and warmth, and I would love to go back. Especially since it is actually quite cold and rainy here today. It feels wrong to turn on the heat during summer, so here I am, literally wearing my winter jacket in the house. Oh how I would love to be sitting on that warm Bahamian beach right now, instead of huddling in my coat on this rainy day.

Speaking of rain, I have some thoughts.

When I was in elementary school, I didn’t like rainy days because all of the kids were all required to wear gumboots. This makes sense from mud standpoint, but I didn’t enjoy my stiff, scratchy boots.

As I got older and entered high school, I didn’t like rainy days because it meant that my soccer, basketball, or volleyball games would get postponed or cancelled.

The same was true during college, except that in addition to game cancellations, I also found the cold Pennsylvanian rains incredibly unpleasant.

After I graduated from college, I moved to New York City for work, where rain was a new beast due to my newfound pedestrian status. Getting caught in a downpour while walking to work resulted in a long, damp day of shivering in my swivel chair. I quickly learned to keep a little umbrella in my bag, a sweater in my desk-drawer, and a pair of extra shoes next to my file cabinet.

When it came time to leave the bright city lights behind me, I moved to Texas to start graduate school. There, I saw a whole different side of rain. This wasn’t just a drizzle that left you slightly uncomfortable. This was the torrential stuff that carried away entire houses.

The very first time I experienced a hurricane, it resulted in mandatory evacuation for much of the city. We drove several hours north to wait out the storm in a waterlogged and evacuee-clogged motel. Thankfully, the hurricane spared our home.

Then one hot summer, it barely rained at all. This resulted in quite a drought. Plants and animals across the state were dying. The drought conditions progressively worsened. That is, until Mother Nature decided to have her say by upending giant bucket-fulls of rain all over Texas.

During one of these days, when the rain clouds were having their way with everything below, I happened to be driving. It was on that day, on a two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, that I encountered one storm that was seriously pissed off at the world.

This was one of those storms that required every ounce of measured energy you and your vehicle are able to muster. Peering with laser focus through windshield of my tiny car revealed only a watery version of reality, one in which cars were periodically swept away to collide with trees, rails, or other cars.

When I finally arrived, exhausted from the white-knuckled journey, I discovered that what I had driven my little car through was actually the swath of a tornado that had destroyed one of the major shopping areas in town. How I made it unscathed is beyond me.

However, despite all of this, I have since come to appreciate the occasional rainy day.

There is something strangely lulling about listening to the rain. There is a blanketing, or perhaps a muting effect that rain has, which allows me to become completely immersed in a task. And somehow, the colors in nature seem more intense and vibrant after a good rain, like every little leaf was scrubbed squeaky clean.

There is also something to be said about the greater appreciation I have for sunshine after a period of rain. I suppose this begs the question: Would I be quite so grateful for sunny days if I never experienced rain? I feel like there’s a metaphor in there somewhere… (or is it an analogy? simile?)… whatever, you know what I mean. Maybe without the rainy days, I would be more prone to take for granted the sunny ones. And vice versa too, I guess.

While I, like most of the world, tend to prefer sunshine on most days, I must admit that at times, there is something extraordinarily renewing and cleansing about rain. And that’s when it’s not so bad.

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts about rain on this rainy day

  1. I recently drove through a micro-burst and a tree fell in front of me. I just calmly pulled over and waited it out. Here in Tucson, the monsoon season is a welcome break from the extreme heat! I definitely appreciate the rain more since it doesn’t happen all the time.

    1. Yikes, a tree falling in front of you sounds like it would be scary! I hear you on rain being a break from the heat though.

  2. Houston–I hope everything is good where you are. You-all are buried in bad weather. Keep those Bahamas memories front and center.

    BTW, you should lead every post with “I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro”. Yikes! That is amazing.

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