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:
As my regular readers know (all right, all right, you can laugh, but I’m sure that group of people must be just about nudging double figures by now) two things that hold considerable fascination for me are photography and rain. Of these, the second one actually came first. As a kid I used to love, after school on a wet day, to sit out on the small back porch at home, often with a book and a snack (to keep me going till tea-time) watching the rain. Ever since then I’ve found watching rain curiously therapeutic – not that I’m unsympathetic towards all of you who are often struggling to get washing dry, mind – and I never mind walking in the rain as long as it isn’t really heavy. That smell of wet grass, the pattern of raindrops on the surface of puddles or open water, or the sound they make as they hit parched ground, all create an ambience I love. Even in urban surroundings, I’m intrigued by the reflections in the tarmac surfaces and the bubbling sounds from the gutters. It’s just as well I have a camera with a good level of weather resistance. (Thank you, Pentax designers.)
But there’s just one snag. (This is where the prompt comes in.)
Rain can make you very wet. And cold. So the piece of clothing that endears itself to me most is my well-worn padded storm coat. I like it even more than the ‘replacement’ I bought, thinking it wouldn’t last much longer – it now seems determined to outwit this (rare) proactive move on my part. (And by the way, if I decide something’s worn out, nobody is likely to argue.)
So, here it is. I’m just thinking… I bought it when? It’s how old? Let’s just say that I’ve had it quite a while… and it has lots of pockets for holding, well, things.
I’d better go. Did anyone notice which pocket I put my keys in?
This post was prompted by the theme ‘An item of clothing…’ at the Writing Workshop
NOW LOOK HERE!
The theme for week 63 is ‘3 Word Gallery’. I have chosen ‘Old Meets New’ as my three-word title. In our cities, this is something that often happens in the context of architecture. Now, sometimes it works well, and sometimes the result is disappointing. Here, I think the contrast of the old cathedral with the modern bridge, with its colour-changing LED lighting, works well. And especially so in the rain.