What do you do when it rains?

Yesterday was the first serious rain of the season. It started out kind of sunny in the morning, with a hint of gloom, and then it started to cloud over and get a bit cold, and then it started to rain, glorious rain. I heard it hitting the roof and trickling through the gutters, watched it puddle up in the low areas of the garden and pool on the porch. Cars splashed lazily by outside and the windows slowly filled with steam while I cooked. The cats spent most of the day sleeping, sprawled out on the bed and lazily opening an eye now and then to check the weather. Mr. Bell snores.

I forced myself to finish all of my work for the day before going out, which was hard. I would look out and see the rain start to stop, and I would worry that I wasn’t going to get to enjoy it. My worries turned out to be groundless, as it was still raining briskly at 6:30, when I pulled on some pants and an overcoat and went outside to revel in the rain. Fortunately, I wore boots, because there were puddles in the road and the rain was coming down hard.

It was glorious. My hair started to plaster back, snaking wet and heavy down my back while the rain covered the surface of my glasses, and a few drops snuck into my eyes now and then. I felt like everything was being washed away, the dirt and grime and oil and what have you that just sort of builds up when there’s no rain to clean it. I noticed other people in the streets, and we would furtively glance at each other as if to say “what, me play in the rain? Of course not, I’m, er, just taking out the garbage.”

I stumbled over to Headlands, slipping through the door into the warmth and humidity and trying not to drip too much. Headlands seemed more vibrant and alive because of the cold and wet outside, and there were a fair number of people inside, for a Tuesday night. I ordered a hot chocolate and steamed gently in the window while I read the paper and listened to jazz. There was something disgustingly cozy and excellent about it, and so very relaxing.

Today is sunny again, but the Earth seems cleaner and so much more fresh. The soil in the garden is dark and the plants are gleaming like someone’s just been by the polish them for a Hollywood role. The air smells sweet and glorious, and I can’t wait for more rain to roll in over the next few days so that I can run around in it, eat ice cream, and skulk in a warm coffeehouse with a hot drink.

I think, secretly, I like rain because it’s so quiet. I mean, the rain itself is noisy, but the noisy neighbors and their children and dogs and power tools are silent for once. It almost fools me into thinking I’m alone.