Writing

The Sound of Raindrops: My Love Affair with the Rain

I have always loved the rain, even though I’ve never really thought about it that much. It’s just something I’ve loved my whole life, and it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t love the rain. Whenever I hear someone say I don’t like the rain or I can never sleep when it rains, I kind of get this feeling inside me that they just haven’t experienced the sound of raindrops enough times in their lives to fall in love with them like I have.

The sound, sight, feel and smell of rain… I love to hear it patter on my window at night as I drift off to sleep. The first thing I do in the summertime when it rains is open a window and let in some fresh air – hopefully some light rain, too! Just last night, I sat by my window for over an hour watching it fall outside. Then, before going to bed, I opened up my window – just a crack in hopes that I might be blessed with a gentle breeze. I listened to all of nature’s sounds as they drifted into my room; birds chirping in delight at finding shelter from an unexpected shower, insects settling down for the evening (though only briefly), leaves rustling around under their weighty burden. It was beautiful. The sound of rain falling on everything reminds me that we are never alone in our struggles, but always supported by our natural world. It can be hard to remember sometimes amidst life’s many challenges and distractions, but I am thankful for these reminders.

I bought my first house when I was 25 years old, and I loved it. It was a cute one-bedroom renovated 1 room school house in Schoharie, New York. One summer afternoon when I came home from work, I sat outside on my front porch and watched as it drizzled all day long. As strange as it may sound, I could’ve listened to that rain for hours – it had a calming effect on me. The tin roof over my head made me feel like things were going to be okay, even though money was tight and I was still struggling to make ends meet.

The sound rain makes as it falls on a metal roof is one of my favorite sounds in all creation. The sound of rain coming down on your car as you drive through it is equally soothing. If you get lucky, when you look out your window at just the right moment, a lightning bolt will shoot across the sky, causing your whole house to illuminate for an instant and illuminating thousands upon thousands of droplets as they fall. For me, these are moments that can make life worth living, and I would never want to live without them. Some people say they don’t like how things get wet when it rains; but, I love that things get wet!

While not every writer loves to write in a thunderstorm, I’ve always felt that rain inspires my creativity. Who could forget the classic literary character, Stephen King’s Carrie White, who telekinetically caused it to rain at her prom? Ernest Hemingway often wrote in rainy weather and called it his midday depression due to writing he did during those hours. Lastly, Mozart is said to have composed while listening to rain falling outside his window. For me, I found I tend to write better when the weather outside is gloomy—especially if it’s raining hard.

The rain is a beautiful phenomenon. It’s soothing, it’s calming and it brings about a sense of inner peace. I first began fully appreciating these qualities of rain in my college years while studying for exams sitting next to an open window on particularly dreary days. The low-hanging clouds gave way to chilly drops that matched my mood and seeped into my being. As time went by, rainy days became more prevalent in my life. They became nostalgic reminders of yesteryear; they brought back memories that put me at ease.

I love rain because it evokes positive emotions within me; but that’s not why I started loving it so much. I love rain because I find it to be beautiful and calming. I love rain because it helps ease my daily fears. Still, my love for rain more than any one specific thing, and has developed over time. It’s true that sometimes when it rains outside, I can feel a sense of calm wash over me.

What draws me to weather in general is how unpredictable it is; many times it just doesn’t feel like there are very many rules or expectations attached to how people behave when it rains, snows, or blusters. All most people want to do is be cozy and comfortable while they wait for inclement weather to pass. Perhaps that’s why I tend to associate feelings of comfort and relaxation with rainy days—because it feels like an opportunity to slow down and appreciate life as it comes at us, rather than trying to rush through everything we have planned.

Colophon
The image used in this piece, Big Tree In The Rain, was taken of an old tree during a rain storm in South Gilboa, New York, in June of 2019.

Asides
I Used To Worry About Rain | A Little Ghost For The Offering | The Beat Goes On: How Allen Ginsberg Inspired Me As A Writer | After The Rain | The smell of earth after rain #SundayStills

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