God is in the rain. Not in the ethereal religious connotation of the phrase, but the feeling of it is accurate enough. I always feel my most spiritual when after a long dry spout we have a day of pouring, hair-soaking, shoe-ruining rain. I sit by the radiator underneath my bay windows, open them and listen to sounds. The wind picking up and dying down through the leaves of the tree outside my second story room, the rustle of the disarray of leaves on the pavement as they are blown from door step to door step, the thudding of the rain hitting the concrete. I love the colours, the bruised black, blue, purple sky that unfurls above, the grey overcast edges of the storm that hint at thunder, the wet sparkling leaves that shimmer in the sun once the rain stops. The rain reminds me of home. Here, in the city it doesn’t rain like this all that often, you are far more likely to encounter a drizzle or a shower than a God-bearing downpour. It reminds of both of my homes; both in their own respective countryside, France and England, but the rain is the same there. Heavy and cleansing, it is the sort of rain that you write novels and poems to, rain that you curl up and fall into a story with.
Curling up on the green chaise-longue on the mezzanine of the old semi-chateau at my Mamie’s, with one of her little dogs at my feet, the rain pattering against the big window, the grey skies making the room bleak and enchanted, hearing the remnants of the afternoon fire crackling from the salon downstairs, and getting lost into an old book I’d picked up, make up some of my fondest memories. I would always be disappointed when the sun finally pierced through, as if its mere presence had broken the spell, no longer were we shrouded in purple clouds but each spec of life illuminated, and us called back to attention.
The smell of the rain is different here in the city though, here it lingers longer and the subtle notes of concrete, cars and humans infiltrate the purity of the sense. When it rains at home here in England, the rain tastes of clean air, wet fields, long days.
I think with it the rains brings out my well-kept sentimentality. For me the rawness of nature reminds me of my place in the world, and feelings, romanticised though I know they are, of the past. A brief connection with history. Imagining the stories of other girls waiting for the rain throughout the past 150 years or so.
I often objectively wonder (as subjectively as I can) when we as a people stopped being moved by the rain. I suppose it must have come sometime after we stopped relying on the clouds to bring us water. I find it saddening though, that such a miraculous event now resides in our conversations as a remark lost between pleasantries, now a commonplace and ordinary occurrence. If it never rained again from this moment onwards, we would notice the absence practically immediately, and yet when it rains here in the city they take out their umbrellas and hurry home to escape the shower. Next time you find yourself somewhere in the rain, whether that be a crowded city, or a quiet village, try looking up at the sky or looking out the window and watch as God falls with the rain and smile despite yourself.
Written during a particularly enjoyable rainstorm this afternoon. As I sat on a cushion on the floor, a hot water-bottle sat on my lap, my warmed laptop on my knees and a mug of tea steaming on the window sill watching the rain through the glass.