It's currently cool and rainy down here in the Deep South. On mornings when I wake up to the gentle patter of rain, it's like a huge sigh settles over my soul -- there's just nothing better than rain. The steady drum, the muffling of outside noise, even the rushing tide of heavy winds when the rain breaks completely free. In all its faces, rain draws me in. It's my favorite time to walk. Let's face it -- the South gets HAWT, and not in a good way. Considering that my career means sitting on my rear for 90 percent of my day, I know moving is important, both to my mood and my health. But I hate the heat! This past winter I reveled in the few days we got snow, went out and walked in it and felt the soft flakes on my face, but nothing compares to walking in the rain. As Roger Miller says, "Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." The cool breeze caresses your face, and there's that strange sense of cool wetness on your skin when you aren't actually wet. You know what I mean, right there under your raincoat, with the raindrops beating against you like a massage and the world coated in a hazy gray blanket. All the things that weigh heavy on my mind are coated too, drowned out, and I can just be, there in the rain.
I grew up in an old farmhouse with a tin roof. Lots of houses out in the middle of nowhere in the South have tin roofs, especially the barns, but I was lucky enough that my bedroom was right underneath it, right up there in the eaves, right where the sound of the rain on the metal would resonate in my ears. Sure there were times that the thunder and lightning would scare the bejesus out of me, but mostly I remember how calming that sound was, how it sank down in my chest and felt like home. Even now, when I listen to meditation or sleep programs, I'm drawn to the ones that sound like rivers or streams, the tinkling of water over rocks, the sound that reminds me of the streaming of water down that old tin roof. There's no other sound quite like it.
The absolute best thing about rain, though, is curling up with a good book under a fuzzy blanket while the water pounds away outside. Maybe it's the white noise effect or maybe the sense of being enclosed, cocooned against that relentless force; I don't know. I can lose myself in the sound as much as in the world of the book I'm reading, or maybe that fiction world becomes clearer as reality is dampened by the rain. I know I'm conditioned now -- when it rains, all I want to do is curl up and read. Not a bad way to think, huh?
Does the rain draw you? Why? While you think about it, I'm gonna go curl up. Coffee's calling, and a book, and the rain.