Living on my island, we get a lot of rain.
We have a hundred different types of rain, islanders are rain connoisseurs. Drizzling, dripping, misting, pouring, monsooning, raining, spitting, showers, are just a few of our rain types.
And you thought rain was only when water falls from the sky.
To an islander, rain is not a hindrance. We know the value of rain-gear. Rain is a cleansing; clearing the roads of grime, of salt off your truck, and washing away the grit of the city.
I’ve long loved the sound of rain. There were many times growing up when I was leaning again the wall, sitting on my bed, reading and listening to the rain on my window and on the highway. I was warm, secure, safe. Lost in a world of words, paying no heed to the real world – causing my parents a lot of yelling up the stairs to gain my attentions.
When I was 12, we renovated our house to include an upstairs, where we moved the bedrooms to. We moved our rooms up the 14 stairs at the end of the summer, just in time to start the school year. It was a wet year, and at first the rain kept me awake. The tapping and pelting of the drops against the panes was unsettling, but wore into a soothing pattern as I learned to listen for the drops on the roof – dull thuds in a continuous loop, trying to seep through the cedar shakes but never gaining entry.
I moved away from my childhood home into new spaces, many of these spaces were basements, mid-floor or ground level. The rain sounds did not come through to my bedroom, my sanctuary. I missed the rain.
I would drive. The rain on my metal roof, on the windshield and falling on the road in sheets, puddling on the sides, creating rivers in the gutters were now how I got my fix of the rain.
My favourite smells are those of a girl who grew up in the country – fresh cut lawn, a hay field as it ripens and as it’s cut, horse, and how clean the earth smells after a summer rain. A rain that tamps the dust down, wipes the dust off the trees and flowers, restoring everything to a shining brilliance.
As I write, the rain is currently pounding down. I now live in a top-floor apartment. The rain has been kind. It was been friendly to me, and I often turn off my music to listen to the rain. I can’t hear the road sounds, the unmistakable swish of wet tires, but it’s okay.
I can watch the rain fall across the parking lot, looking bleak and dreary and like a perfect island winter.