It’s storming as I write this.
The windows of my wood-paneled study are sprayed with trickling droplets, giving the room the cozy illusion of early winter haze. The water continuously drips from my roof in full, unsatisfied icicles. The distant trees and houses are grayed out beyond the sheets of falling water, separating me from every elsewhere.
(Elsewhere—now, there’s an idea.)
I am alone in this house of rain. Well, alone with the cats.
If you talk to me long enough I’ll eventually tell you rain is my favorite thing on the planet. Sure, there are lots of other things I enjoy too, like coffee, sleep, pretty girls, good music, smooth whiskey; but there’s just something about the falling of drops of water that speaks to me on the deepest level of my being.
Not the sink faucet, or even an awe-inspiring waterfall—none of that business. What I mean is the hose sprinkler in the yard, or the spray from a shower head. Anything, I reckon, that could form a rainbow. Drops falling. Millions of drops of water, all falling at once. I can’t tell you what that is or where it comes from, all I know is it’s a feeling I’ve never been able to accurately describe.
I used to say I would never write about rain. To me it’s the equivalent of trying to write about loss itself, whether it’s through love or death, that hollow emptiness that feels like it could never be filled with anything substantial enough to make a difference. To write about rain would ultimately lead me down a path of disappointment and heartache, because I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. It’s too much. I would fail.
But today I feel a little braver.
The feeling rain gives me is sweet like newfound love, but it’s also a deep yearning, like long lust. Sure, I can sit and watch a crackling fire with the best of them, but I don’t know too many people who would sit and watch the rain like I do. It could never rain for long enough, if you ask me.
When I was a kid that wasn’t the case. I used to have the most wretched fear of storms. I’d hear thunder and see those black clouds forming in the distance, and I’d be sick to my stomach for hours. Couldn’t tell you why. It’s not like I’d ever gone through a bad storm in my whole life, even with growing up on the Gulf Coast, a notable ditch in Hurricane Alley. The closest I’d come to experiencing destructive weather was watching big blockbuster movies like Twister.
The storms we experienced when I was young were so unimpressive my mom used to calm me down by telling me tales of storms past, which usually consisted of about two-and-a-half acres of pine trees twisted up like fifty giant Twizzlers, and Hurricane Frederick relocating her back porch to the front yard.
Nope, I’m completely storm-trauma free, but I was still scared silly at the thought of a bad one. But then, just like that, I wasn’t afraid anymore. Out of nowhere. Instead of turning my stomach to knots, my heart would swell and I’d feel deep in my gut that particular longing that came with the surging of winds and sharp cracks of thunder.
I’d found a muse.
Something in me changed, and I grew up, or I grew up and something changed. Either way, I’m glad it happened. Because I’ve managed to find peace amidst chaos and at the same time learn a valuable lesson: storms can be beautiful if you let them be.
I have the distinct pleasure of living in the rainiest city in the country, but that really only applies to the amount of rainfall per year, not the consistency of precipitation—that award goes to Seattle. But either way you want to look at it, I could always stand to see a little more rainfall.
More rain means more growth, more lush vegetation and ripe fruit. More puddles to splash in. More cups of coffee, more stories read or written by the window. Even those big, scary storms that make you feel like you won’t make it out on the other side. Even those, because even the bad ones are okay in the end. They pass just like all the others. I promise.
Oh, love, don’t ever forget that all storms pass. Your trees might be twisted. Your back porch might be in the front yard. But the storm is over now, and the birds are beginning to sing again. The air is still humid, but the sun is back out, and you’re going to be just fine.
We both will be just fine.