IN CELEBRATION OF RAIN

MISSED THE GOOD RAIN SHOTS BUT YOU GET THE IDEA.

I’m singin’ in the rain
Just singin’ in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I’m happy again

I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
And singing
Singing in the rain
In the rain, in the rain, in the rain

…Sang Gene Kelly.

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. I wanted to cling to it, keep it from being beamed away by sun. I wanted to lie in bed with a book all day. After making coffee I walked into it to take a picture—it was not a heavy downpour but nevertheless a proper rain, my gnarly dried feet are wet, hair damp.

I have always preferred rainy days. When I was a kid with a birthday in April-showers month, the first spring rains were barely warm enough to begin melting tired dirty accumulation of snow, but they signaled the Minnesota winter drawing to a close. They gave the outdoors back its earth, grass, leaf, needle, sap, swamp, lake smells. They promised May flowers and summertime and school out and hiding out in our user-friendly woods with a book fresh from the Blackduck library. Summer rains were a physical, visceral experience because we ran out into them when the thunder and lightning grew distant. Up in the pastures there were indented squares from where logging camp buildings had been, they filled with water and created a personal wading pond or two for each of us. We ran indoors bedraggly-wet and wrapped ourselves in sweaters and ate warm bread from the oven. Perhaps my favorite rains came in the fall when I could experience them tucked into a quilt reading away the cold gray day. And then the Minnesota winter when it was too cold to rain so we had to experience weather through…snow. That worked just fine. Except for the barefoot running part of course.

I could offer an apology for what might be considered an overly-sentimentalized look back at a time and place that also included blizzards, mosquitoes, wolf-killed sheep, and not much money but it was so long ago and far away that it’s permissible to focus on the joy of it all I think.

 “The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing — a blanket — the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.” Douglas Coupland

Why have I always loved rain so much?  Did I mention…Today, the rarest of Albuquerque weather phenomena—rain—has fallen all morning. I awoke to it and didn’t believe my ears for awhile. Happiness and contentment were poised to jump into my brain and my heart but I needed to listen to be sure. Yes, it was raining. Why has rain always made me so pleased with myself, with life, with the world? For now, shall I just propose it’s an introvert’s best environmental friend, keeping her  inside in a small cozy personal space. My apartment is small and when I travel I’m always in small (and, yes—usually cozy—otherwise known as ‘budget’) hotel rooms. I especially like train compartments though, curled up in my corner for reading and writing and dreaming, my stuff nicely arranged at the bottom of the berth; in fact trains could be my favorite rainy day spaces. The passing countryside of soaked earth, drops of water adding  small glimmers to leaves and flowers, the sky heavy, gray, no sun attacking your eyes with too much light, too much bright. On that train, my compartment may or may not include a roommate, but my berth is my own, with blanket and pillow, my books and Surface, and snacks and wool socks—and if one is passing through the taiga perhaps there’s hot borscht next door in the dining car—with a shot of vodka—in the rain?

“Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain-storms in the spring or fall, which confined me to the house for the afternoon as well as the forenoon, soothed by their ceaseless roar and pelting; when an early twilight ushered in a long evening in which many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves.” —Henry David Thoreau

My Unhappy Reality

The rainiest places on earth are India, New Zealand, Columbia, Equatorial Guinea and Hawaii. Far from me.

Over half of the sunniest top ten are right here in my very neighborhood: Arizona, Nevada and Texas.

 

Song For The Rainy Season 

Hidden, oh hidden

in the high fog

the house we live in,

beneath the magnetic rock,

rain-, rainbow-ridden,

where blood-black

bromelias, lichens,

owls, and the lint

of the waterfalls cling,

familiar, unbidden.
In a dim age

of water

the brook sings loud

from a rib cage

of giant fern; vapor

climbs up the thick growth

effortlessly, turns back,

holding them both,

house and rock,

in a private cloud.
At night, on the roof,

blind drops crawl

and the ordinary brown

owl gives us proof

he can count:

five times–always five–

he stamps and takes off

after the fat frogs that,

shrilling for love,

clamber and mount.
House, open house

to the white dew

and the milk-white sunrise

kind to the eyes,

to membership

of silver fish, mouse,

bookworms,

big moths; with a wall

for the mildew’s

ignorant map;

darkened and tarnished

by the warm touch

of the warm breath,

maculate, cherished;

rejoice! For a later

era will differ.

(O difference that kills

or intimidates, much

of all our small shadowy

life!) Without water

the great rock will stare

unmagnetized, bare,

no longer wearing

rainbows or rain,

the forgiving air

and the high fog gone;

the owls will move on

and the several

waterfalls shrivel

in the steady sun

By Elizabeth Bishop

THE RAIN HAS PASSED BUT I PRAYED TO DUDUMITSA, THE BULGARIAN GODDESS OF RAIN, TO KEEP IT CLOUDY A LITTLE LONGER. THANK YOU, DUD.

 

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One Comment on “IN CELEBRATION OF RAIN

  1. Meanwhile here in Dover, Delaware we had a very wet Spring….at times flooding rains….hours upon hours of rain and sometimes wind and thunder and lightening. When it rains really hard I think of you Marjorie and you love of rain. Delaware should think about building a pipeline to New Mexico to sell you our excess. It has almost been a week since our last rain….

    Like

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