A Ramble About Rain

Do big wind-and-pelting-rain-and-thunder-and-lightning storms make anyone else feel energized and reckless? They always fill me with the urge to do things that would never seriously enter my head at any other time. I have always secretly envied the animals when it comes to storms. Horses can run in the rain, kicking up their heels and making complete fools of themselves, and people excuse them with 'oh, they're just excited about the storm.' Now if I were to declare my intentions of running in the rain, kicking up my heels and making a complete fool of myself, one of two things would happen: 1) I would kick up my heels, lose my balance in the wet grass, and land smack on my backside or head. 2) My dear mother would say something like, "Why do you want to go out in the rain? You'll get wet." Actually, come to think of it, both of those things would happen, and have happened quite frequently. That is the reason why I usually sneak out and kick up my heels in an out-of-sight place.

Rain and I have a regard for each other. I like the rain, and the rain, apparently, likes me. Especially when I go to the Muny. Yes, I am a bad luck totem for potential Muny-goers. Plays at which I am in attendance frequently get rained out. I have many stories involving disastrous Muny performances and rain, but I remember one time above all others. Mamo and Papo were taking Brittany, Natasha, and myself to the Muny. Not only was I being treated to a 'night out' with my grandparents and cousins, but Mamo and Papo had even paid for tickets. This was an unheard-of luxury. In the world I grew up in, one never paid for Muny tickets. The family would arrive an hour or two early and camp out on the grounds, waiting to secure the best free seats we could find. My high hopes for a dazzling evening of splendors began to falter as my grandparents, cousins, and I drew nearer to the Muny. The skies were looking ominous. Dark clouds hung over us. Flashes of lightning zig-zagged from the clouds, accompanied by tremendous growls of thunder. I remember that we drove past a huge, open field, with a lone tree standing in the middle of it. With youthful naiveness, and in an attempt to bring a ray of light to a dark situation, I announced my love for thunderstorms, and a wish that I could run through the field and welcome the impending rain. One of my cousins, in all the wisdom of her superior years, replied, "That would be a silly thing to do. You would get struck by lightening." This shut me up, and taught me that one does not approach the topic of thunderstorms and open fields lightly. One must be sure of the standing of one's audience. Needless to say, that Muny 'night out' turned into rather a disaster, at least as far as the performance was concerned. I can not now remember what all we did that night, but I enjoyed myself, in spite of the disappointment about the play.

Perhaps nothing is quite so thrilling as the prospect of rain after a long, exhaustingly hot summer day. Darkening skies, rising wind, and the fresh smell of rain all make my sweaty skin tingle expectantly, waiting for the delicious liquid coolness to wash away all the grime and dust of the day. I love it when the rain comes up from a westerly direction, and I can stand in the back pasture and watch it come. The smell, the rushing pitter-patter of countless drops, the sight of that grey curtain marching steadily towards me, and then, oh joy! The moment when I become a part of the storm. This probably explains why memories of rain are some of my most vivid recollections. The unique feel of each storm. The wild, impromptu dancing in mud puddles. The rush to shelter from a particularly violent tempest. A Camp David worship service in the rain - all of us sitting on the porch (except for those who stood in the rain), feeling our souls become refreshed from the worship, even as the land was refreshed by the water... The rainstorm that nearly wreaked havoc on Carrie's plans for an outdoor wedding. It rained the day of the wedding. I remember watching the rain pour down on the drive over to the farm where Carrie was to be married. I prayed the whole way over for the rain to stop, and it did, just in the nick of time. We rushed around frantically to wipe off folding chairs and tables, and everything was picture-perfect by the time the wedding took place... Rainstorms in Mozambique when, after days of heat and sand, Zhenya and I would dash out to jump in the puddles that were often over our ankles in depth. Or, a less pleasant Mozambique memory: The time a rainstorm caught us in the middle of the food market. Everything flooded within minutes, and we waded through the deep, murky water, undoubtedly polluted with sewer, chicken manure, and whatever else was in the area. All this while, Zhenya was sick from drinking bad water and threatening to bring up  her breakfast for inspection as she sniffed the pungent and pervasive aroma wafting from the fish stalls... The fast-moving rainstorms of Guatemala that would rise out of a perfectly blue and cloudless sky. At the first warning drops, we would dash out to pull in the laundry from the clothes line and finish drying it inside. On one of these laundry-rescuing expeditions, we carelessly forgot to prop the door open as we left the house. The door shut and latched behind us, and we found ourselves trapped outside. There was nothing to do but wait until Brad and Charity got home with the key. So we sat under a small shelter in the high-walled garden, soaking up the beauty of the rain on the roof and the bright, tropical flowers... Ah! The memories! Some pleasant, some otherwise, but every one of them good for a tale when all's said and done. And the memory-maker, the rain... sometimes welcomed, sometimes loathed, but always inexorably pouring... it is a bit of a love-hate relationship at times, but I think it is still safe to say that the love usually wins out.

Just in case you're interested, some of my poetic scribbles about rain can be found here: The Aspiring Bard


  1. Wow, you inspire me!! Maybe my avoidance of rain all this time has been a deprivation! :D


  2. Yes, it probably has. You should go outside and relish the next big storm that comes along.


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