So far, this has been a wretched summer with epic heat. Enervating record-breaking triple-digit heat that fuels scattered short-lived afternoon storms wherein even the raindrops are hot. Hot steamy rain that saturates the air and leaves it so thick you feel as if you might drown on the next deep breath.
It’s making me cranky.
Today was unusual. Today a “cold” front passed through and not only did it rain, it rained all afternoon. Thick clouds thwarted the sun’s intensity and the outdoor temp dropped into the mid-70s. And stayed there for hours. It was dark and gloomy and I didn’t even bother to turn on lights, just basked in the dim filter of day-long dusk and enjoyed it. Because tomorrow, and every day next week and every day the week after and every damn day for the next two months, is forecast to be back into the upper 90s, flirting with 100.
I hate summer in the South. It is pure relentless wilting misery and I hate it with a passion.
But it occurs to me that complaining about the heat just makes it seem worse. So let’s think about a different time. And a different kind of rain. A rain that felt cool and refreshing and life affirming. Yes, we do have that kind of rain down here. In fact, I wrote about it a couple years ago and am re-posting it today — mostly because I like it but also because I’m focused on other writing just now (please forgive the repetition).
I hope it will be a nice break from the stifling heat of summer and that you all can let your imagination wander to a quiet moment on a cool weekend morning when I paused to enjoy a . . .
Rainy day in spring
It is dark and raining here this morning. The kind of hard heavy steady rain that says, pay attention, and no matter what you thought you were going to do, you stop and listen instead. Too many drops to count, yet you can hear the rhythm of each one. The small steady slap of it on the roof and leaves and street, the music of it running fast through eaves and downspouts, in the fleeting splash of a car driving by.
A quick gust of wind waves dense leafy branches through the flow, disrupting the steady downward path, diverting drops like a hand testing the temperature of a shower. The gust moves on and the thick drops fall harder, crowding together in a pale gray sheet.
The back door is open and the smell of wet comes through the screen. Sodden chlorophyll and damp ground, giving up the hot sweat of the past week’s growth, rinsing off leaves and bark and blades of grass to run down the slope of the next yard to the creek, filling the air with the ripe earthy scent.
The torrent is timeless and ageless, full of significance yet devoid of meaning. The rain is all there is. No crackle of lightning or rumble of thunder. Nothing moves under the onslaught, there are no other sounds, only the steady soaking drum of the rain. And you are still, listening.
The gloom lifts slowly as the rain tapers off, the symphony ending not with a crescendo but a soft reprise as a cool damp breeze gently teases small drops down in a light patter from the high branches where they linger. There is movement in an upstairs bedroom and you recall the tasks at hand.
Soon the air is redolent with the smell of freshly sliced melon and frying bacon. Outside, the birds resume their springtime songs.