One person’s nasty weather is another’s paradise. I never have nor will I ever describe a cloudy, rainy day as “nasty”. In fact, given a choice, I will always prefer to bask in the green-grey light diffused by falling rain over the beating (and in my case, rapidly searing) glare of an insistent summer sun. I will also, as I have several times, challenge people who complain about rainy days and describe them as “ugly”.
Ugly, they say! When it is one of the most beautiful (not to mention crucial) processes of nature and is filled with delights for the senses – the steady, calming sound of millions of drops of water falling on trees, the ground and roofs; the stirring sounds and vibrations of gently rolling or dramatically booming thunder; the hypnotic, fleeting flashes of lightning; magical glimpses of illusory rainbows; the invigorating feeling of fresh water falling from the sky and dancing on your skin; and the intoxicating scent of petrichor – that grounding smell of dry earth being quenched by rain and releasing fragrant oils into the air, an auspicious smell burned into our ancestral memory.
It is no wonder then that many of the earliest known deities were strongly associated not only with water, but specifically with rain, storms, thunder and lightning.
“Oh, I don’t think it’s ugly at all”, I would say. “I love rain and rainy days, they’re so comforting and lovely, and we need them!”
“Well yeah, I know it’s important and stuff but I just hate it when I’m out trying to do things! I don’t mind it raining while I’m at home,” would be a common reply.
I’m so sorry the rain isn’t courteous enough to hold off until you are done running all your errands and are back home, tucked into your jammies, would be my thought in response to that particular, and curiously popular, retort.
But aloud I would say, “I love being out and about in the rain, and I don’t even bother with umbrellas. A little rain won’t make anyone melt!”
“Yeah getting caught in the rain can be kind of fun sometimes, but I still hate getting wet when I’m not trying to and I really hate driving in the rain, you know?”
Alright, alright…yes, driving can be stressful when it is raining hard enough and you’re in an area where people treat a slight drizzle like an apocalyptic deluge (as they do in the city where I reside, to my eternal dismay). But I’m afraid that’s still no excuse to despise rainy days or to hop onto the all-too-crowded bandwagon of immediately calling a rainy day “ugly” or “bad weather”.
This is a prominent example of the programming that afflicts our society; nature does nothing that is “bad”, first, except within the sphere of human perception and interpretation.
And second, the weather’s interference with human plans does not make it “bad” either. How limited is so much of our thinking! It is a crux of human existence that so many of us still consider nature something to be avoided, conquered, outsmarted, or even ridiculed. As a result, many people’s relationship with nature is one fraught with paradox, irony, illogicality, and disrespect.
Eventually I would have to simply drop my side of the great Rainy Day Debate and, shaking my head and sighing, accept that the other person seemed to prefer an attitude toward weather that many have toward difficult in-laws.
I look out my window as I write this and I see a clear, azure sky still aglow with bright afternoon light. Most people around here will look outside and, making their summery, al fresco plans, will say anxiously “It’s not supposed to rain, is it?”
Yet tomorrow morning I’m sure I’ll look out the window and, whatever the sky looks like, I will ask my husband most hopefully (as I do very frequently), “Do you think it will rain?”
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