As I write this, I am listening to the rain fall.
Like the drops falling, my mind is feeling lyrical.
Glorious drops, falling from the sky, dancing musically as their reach their earthly collision. Some sound loud and deep, like a bass line, creating the overall rhythm, hitting the roof above me. Some are sharp and light, as the drops fall on stone or a piece of metal garden art. Some are practically silent, audible only to the spirits high in the sky, as the drops softly slide down the blades of grass, channeled to the soil to be greeted with a welcoming embrace.
As I put these words to paper with my pencil, I am in the sunroom. Later, I type these words while sitting on my couch. Still, hearing the rain fall.
The sunroom is a fanciful name for essentially a styrofoam box with windows. It was probably constructed a few years prior to our purchase of our home, and is connected to the back of the house, built atop a deck. The back door empties into this space, creating almost an air-lock style chamber, a second door required to be opened to go into the back garden.
We use this space mainly for storage, lacking a garage; the deep freezers, shelves for my countless mason jars, a few boxes we don’t know where to put, the rarely-used but still needed kitchen gadgets like the juicer. With styrofoam walls, a metal frame, and a thin resin roof, the space is freezing in the winter and an oven in the summer. But with large glass doors making up a wall, and windows on two other sides, it has the best light. I also use the space a great place for photography and to use as a place to write.
And when it’s raining, it’s one of my favorite places to be. The closest I can be without actually being in the rain. Like a walled umbrella.
Isn’t it amazing how the weather can so alter our emotions, our mood? When I woke up today, warm in bed under my feather comforter and linen duvet, a cat curled up leaning against my leg, I awoke to this music being played by the sky.
This wasn’t one of those scattered showers, where a few drops will fall, teasing you like a dangling candy in front of a child’s nose. It was a steady stream of beats, a symphony.
And my heart swelled and sung along, my soul feeling refreshed and light.
I love the rain. And particularly now, as our climate is changing, I crave the rain. On what seems to be the endless sunny days that make up our winters here in California, I feel a tension. Like the earth, and perhaps also my soul, is holding her breath. Waiting. Waiting. And finally, as the water comes and soaks her soils, we breathe a sigh of relief.
And we rejoice.
With our climate changing, we often hear about the uncertain future of rising sea levels. I personally have not seen those changes happening in my lifetime. But I have seen the patterns of the rain change.
I grew up in an area of California that, on average, received more rain than some other parts of the state. But even in “dry years”, I remember most of the winter months consisted of regular rain storms.
Recesses were always canceled, instead, Februarys consisted of one long game of Heads-up-7-up. Countless books were read while sitting in front of our woodstove, piles of wet clothes and rainboots piled aside, drying from the heat.
Big storms meant I got to stay home from school, always a concern that our dirt road would slide and mom wouldn’t be able to get down the hill to pick me up from school, essentially leaving me stranded.
Phone calls late in the night punctuated the dark hours: requests for my dad to come clear fallen trees, laying across the road, tipped over from their own weight and lifted out of oversaturated soils. I would fall asleep to rain on my dormer roof, and would awake in the early morning to the rushing sound of the creek, swollen from the downpours.
I would wear my rubber knee-high riding boots to school, allowing me to walk through even the deepest of puddles and preventing my legs from getting wet as I walked under an umbrella.
Those days are now few and far between for California. It comes all at once, or it doesn’t come at all
I have heard of people who don’t enjoy the rain, because it makes them sad. Perhaps, deep down, they know it’s because it’s a dying breed. Endangered. Like the spotted salamander, hiding under rotting logs deep in the forest. The red fox, slinking between the granite boulders. The snowy plover, nestled in a bed made of sand.
How will we live in a land without rain? Not only for drinking and water and all the practical things, but to keep our souls singing?