If you know me already, or if you scan through this site, you’ll appreciate my fascination with rain. As I’ve said before, this goes back a long way – as far back as early childhood, in fact. Well, just recently I did what I used to back then, just to see if it felt the same: I took something to eat and drink, and sat on a garden chair just under cover from the falling rain, and quietly ate, drank, and thought. And the question is, did it feel the same?
Well, first of all, the same old curious fascination was definitely there. As ever, I loved to muse on the way everyday things like roofs and plant-pots, as well as the plants and trees, looked excitingly different just because they were wet. Once again, I loved to look at droplets and reflections.
But then there was, and always is, something else, much harder to describe: doing this, as I did once again, has the effect of giving isolation and comfort at the same time. The falling rain emphasises that you are alone, but never lonely. You are surrounded in solitary beauty.
Let me make a contrast: to walk through a shopping centre on a busy morning, surrounded by hundreds of people who care nothing for you, and shop displays compete to entice you to part with your money in exchange for the latest this and that, that is loneliness.
So, was anything different, and, if so, what? Well now, here is the point of my title: as a child, I would sit there like that, mostly filling my head with thoughts of what I wanted to do, either that day, or at the week-end, or in the next school holidays,or whenever. Doing the same thing now (the food, drink, chair, and location will all be different but the concept is the same) I find that I am mostly looking back, remembering and wondering about all kinds of things… Perhaps my two little pictures show us something: you can focus on the surroundings, or on the reflections, but not on both at the same time.
The fascination, though, and that strange, almost paradoxical comfort, is still there – or did I say that before?
This post was prompted by the writing workshop at:
Now look here: