Oct 27, 2006

On the Beauty of Rainy Days

(Toledo, OH) I woke to the sound of raindrops on my roof early this morning, and unlike many people, the realization that rain was in the forecast did not bring me down.

Oh, I enjoy a sunny day as well as any beach bum, and I admit that I am as chagrined as anyone else when an outdoor event I planned to attend is rained out.

But I must also admit that I have a secret fondness for days in which the rain never lets up.

I am one of those neurotically-driven people for whom "sunshine" means that I should be outdoors: working in the garden, taking the dogs for a walk, or painting my picket fence. Any outdoor activity means that I am being productive and fending off those inner voices that push me.

A rainy day, though, is like my ticket to slackery. The reading of books, watching of videos, or listening to Andres Segovia becomes "acceptable" when the skies open up, and I no longer feel compelled to be productive.

The air on a rainy day smells different than any other time, and I enjoyed allowing some rain to wash over my face as I waited for my dogs to finish their trips to the backyard about 4:00. I must have looked like a lunatic, standing in the rain on my leaf-strewn lawn, but there is something primordial and universal about letting raindrops splash over you.

As I write these words I am sitting near an open window listening to the steady fall of rain on my driveway this evening. I did not get a lot accomplished today, but the cool breeze coming from the west chases away any lingering guilt at being a bit lazy on a Friday afternoon.


Lisa Renee said...

(shivering) I thought it was cold today, granted I'm still not back to "me" yet but I was and still am cold. I do like the sound of the rain on a roof especially at night. It may sound funny but that was one of the best things about living in the one mobile home we lived in was the sound of the rain on the metal roof.


Stephanie said...

I definitely prefer the days of constant rain to the summer rain that tends to rain for a while, just long enough to bring out the worms, then fade away, leaving the worms to shrivel and die in a smelly, unpleasant sort of way.

But the rain up here has been very cold, and interlaced with snow. It's not even Halloween yet, so I'd give up the rain if it did away with the notion of snow this early in the season.

Maggie Thurber said...

I especially love the smell of a fall rain - mixed with the aroma of fallen leaves...

microdot said...

It's Oct. 28 and I was out most of the day wearing shorts and a t shirt. Very strange Indian Summer here that just won't quit. The mushrooms in the forest have had a record breaking year...the best since 1971. I found kilos of cepes and today probably a kilo of chantrelles and pied de mouton.
I freeze them for winter cooking.
My garden has roses blooming and many other flowers are just going on and on...this is strange because usually by Nov. 1st, we have had a freeze, the leaves are off the trees and the rainy cold has set in. Nov 1st is the biggest family holiday in France. Everyone goes back totheir families village and cleans the graves and puts chrysanthemums on them. This year, people are heading to the beach!

historymike said...

I imagine that the rain must sound incredible on a metal roof, Lisa!

historymike said...

We've had a few flurries already in Toledo, Steph, but not the wintry Wisconsin mix you describe.

historymike said...

Agreed, Maggie, about the earthy aroma of wet leaves.

historymike said...

I never knew Aquitaine was prone to frost, Microdot. Are you at a higher elevation?

In my American ignorance I have always assumed that all of southern France was more of a Mediterranean climate, but I suppose your area is dominated by the North Atlantic winds.

Are you far from the Pyrennes Mountains?

historymike said...

Oh wait - I found your area - you are in Dordogne, right?

A bit of climate information about Dordogne:

The weather here is much milder than England though frosts can be severe and snow is not unknown. The weather is warm from mid April extending through to October and November. Two thirds of the rain falls between December and March, the remaining third falling evenly throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn.

McCaskey said...

Love those rainy days. A book, a fire, you and your significant other snuggling under the covers...oops, there I go day-dreaming again.

microdot said...

Mike, I am in the North east corner of the Dordogne, nearly on the border with the Correze. The elevation here is 312 meters and we get frost almost every morning once winter sets in. Last year we had some significant snowfall, though it all melted with in 24 hours except in the valleys.
This a countyside of ridges and isolated cone shaped hills dominating broad valleys. On the high points here, one can see the Massif Central...the huge ancient volcanic remnants in the center of France. If you can find Badefols d'Ans on a map, you might get an idea of how rural it is here. The town is on the highest ridge in the area and is dominated by a 12th century Chateau and Eglise.
We are 2 kilometers south of town at the end of a rural road.
Another unaturally warm day today, this has been a year of extremes...very hot, then chilly, very dry and then lots of rain...the scary part is the big storms that move in off of the Atlantic are getting more common place...they really are mini hurricanes, there was one 3 weeks ago with 80 mph gusts and sustained 60 mph winds that lasted for 6 hours! Lots of damage. We lost a very old peach tree that was not well anyway, but supported a magnificent wild rose vine. We were without electricity for 4 days and it was only last week that the phones started working normally again!
Global warming?

Hooda Thunkit said...

Ah, the smell of a rainy day!

What memories that stirs up; thoughts of a cleaner time in Toledo.