(Note: This post was written earlier this week on a lovely rainy day.)
There is something comforting about a rainy day in summer. Today is one of those days, and although I am at work, I’d like to be in my (imaginary) cottage somewhere curled up by a window or on a covered porch, with a soft blanket, a hot cup of coffee, and a good book. As much as I love the sun (not to mention the amazing things it does to improve my mood), rainy summer days are refreshing – a nice break from the sweltering heat and the bright glare of the sun.
Whether it’s the sound of the rain as it patters against the windows, or the cool breeze that often accompanies- there’s something enjoyable about rain in the summer. I love seeing the fresh, wet drops on the plants in my garden, and the way everything look so sparkly and clean after a good rainfall. And when the rain is over, and the sun peaks through the clouds again, there’s always such a feeling of joy, as if the whole world is brand new.
I think back fondly on many rainy camping trips from my youth. Mom would check the weather forecast constantly as a camping trip approached and we’d celebrate if it predicted sun and groan if it said rain. But now, looking back, the rain always gave our camping trips a sense of adventure and intimacy. First, we’d have to find ways to shelter our tents and other equipment – setting up tarp, after tarp – Dad climbing trees to attach a rope that would give the perfect angle so the rain would fall away from camp instead of into it. Then we’d find shelter and all crowd together – usually at a picnic table inside someone’s dining tent or under the awning of someone’s camper. We’d all sit squeezed in together, dressed in raincoats and smelling of campfire, and play endless games of cards while waiting out the rain. On one particular occasion, on a group camping trip that involved about forty of us – we moved several picnic tables together and covered it with one of those perfectly angled tarps. This created a “home base” for our group camping site – everyone cooked, ate, played games, read, did crafts, and just visited together all within close proximity to each other. It was comforting and cozy to be so close to all your loved ones. When you were ready to brave the rain, you’d run across the site to your tent, where you’d lay on a damp sleeping bag and pillow, listening to the droplets of rain against the nylon of the tent, and feeling the thickness of the humidity in the air. At the time we may have dreaded the rain, but now I remember those times with a new sense of appreciation.
Another thing about rain in the summertime, is the thrill of a good thunderstorm. Whether you’re driving down a country road and can see the wind blowing the dust, and the thick dark clouds rolling in – or you’re in the comfort of your home watching in anticipation out the window – the sense of adventure that hangs in the air can make one both uneasy and excited. As the clouds accumulate and eventually create a curtain of darkness, and the first few raindrops begin to fall – as the winds pick up and blow the curtains and you run around the house closing windows, trying to beat the storm. Then suddenly the clouds let go and the rain pours down, pounding against the pavement. The sky shudders as the thunder crashes and a lightning bolt somewhere far off in the distance flashes. It’s intriguing to sit and watch a thunderstorm (provided of course that you’re somewhere safe). It’s awesome and wonderful to see what nature can do – how angry and ferocious it can get – only to settle so suddenly and leave a sense of peace, clarity, and newness all over.
So although I still prefer a sunny, warm day spent outside, I can certainly appreciate a good summer rainfall. And while I am at work today and not on a porch somewhere sipping coffee, I will take a moment to look out my window and enjoy the fresh, new feeling the rain gives to the world.