I just ran in from under the rain – my hair still has beads of waters that roll down like cool surprises onto my ears and cheeks and forehead. I’ve just driven home after an outing at the grocery store, where I picked up a bâtard French loaf, some veggies and a sac of my favourite fruit of the moment: asian pears.
I had a funny rainy-day experience in the grocery store parking lot. My Mercedes-Benz suv has a rear-view camera which is quite useful as I back up, but this time I was surprised, for things seemed closer than normal – the bumper of the car behind me loomed large and my heart leapt into my throat, thinking I was going to back into it! Thankfully, however, I discovered that it was an optical illusion courtesy of the rain, a fact which was confirmed when I snapped my head up and back to look out the rear window of the truck. I was relieved to understand that the heavy drops falling from the skirt of the car were acting as a magnifying lens for the camera.
Rain is an opportunity to feel quiet and calm. It gives us an excuse to turn inwards and bundle up – to think about how the world around us is unfurling and what our place is in it. This is best accomplished over a cup of tea, I think – my favourite is lemon green tea – and in a great, cozy winged armchair. Nature’s colours are livelier when perceived through the misty lens of a rainy day. The greens are more vivid, and houses lose their sharp edges, the bricks becoming softer and more rounded. Even hard built structures feel organic and natural in the rain. This makes everything seem a little less definitive, a little more malleable and approachable.
When the rain abates and the sheets of water become a gentle drizzle, it’s a pleasure to walk to the mailbox and feel the each tiny droplet land on the nape of your neck or the back of your hand, tiny jolts of cool against the warmth of your hand. It makes you realise that you are alive, that your body is warm, that you’d rather be dry and near a fire that’s chasing the damp out of the room.
Rainy days are made for thinking and remembering, writing letters to friends or journal entries. They are nature’s way of slowing us down and making us think. That’s a beautiful thing.