Hey Rain, don’t you listen to those haters. I love you. I mean, all good things in moderation, agreed, but I’d rather have green and growing things in my garden than dried and shrivelled ones.
I took my daughter to school this morning – ten minute walk each way – and on the way back along a particularly peaceful and tree-lined road, I remembered how depressed I used to get, walking home from the school run in the rain. I’d walk past the houses, and look out at the view of factories, and big roads, and think ‘if I lived in the countryside, I wouldn’t mind the rain so much, but this is just miserable’. Don’t get me wrong, I love city life; I’m just a bit of a whiner sometimes. And anyway, it made me smile, to realise I had actually done something to change a situation that got me down, instead of just carrying on feeling glum about wanting stuff I didn’t have.
Shortly after this came a point where I realised that I could not physically get any wetter (turns out I was mistaken, but more on that later), so I may as well take the opportunity to enjoy the rain rather than hide from it. Instead of going home, I carried on past the end of our road, and headed out into the woods for a stroll.
I love walking in the rain. Since having kids, it’s been a rare pleasure to be able to walk out in miserable weather – the moaning and grumbling of two small, wet children on a hike they’d rather not be on should never be underestimated. So, I walked. At one point I stopped and closed my eyes to see if I could tell, over the noise of the rain on the trees, that I was standing right next to a stream. I couldn’t for a while, but once my senses adjusted I could make out an occasional low glopping noise as the water ran over the rocks. I heard birds, too; probably rejoicing over the sudden, abundant worm harvest. I don’t think we listen to the world nearly enough.
I walked through mud, was forced to jump several small, new rivers, and got weird looks from the very few dog walkers I encountered, when they saw I didn’t even have their excuse for being out. It was wonderful, and strangely liberating, and when I finally came out of the woods and found this:
I knew that even though nearly everyone I knew would think me completely insane, I didn’t care a jot. I love this weather.
I stood up on the hill for a bit, feeling the rain on my face and looking at the mist rising from the trees around, and as I turned to go back, then I realised how wrong I’d been when I started. *Now* I was soaked to the skin, and the walk home wasn’t quite as much fun as the walk there had been. Sopping wet jeans? Never a good idea. But the promise of a hot shower and a mug of tea kept me going, and you know what, I still loved it.
So yes, this pathetic excuse for a summer will cause a lot of grief to many. Cellars will flood, boots will leak, farmers will cuss. But we can’t change the weather, so really it’s up to us whether we do our best to enjoy it, or whether we angrily shake our fists at the sky. As a wise friend once said, quoting another wise friend no doubt, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.
Go on, get yer wellies on and go jump in puddles. You’ll be moaning when it all dries up again and we get a hosepipe ban.