The whinging and moaning in this country, with regards our great fortune to have the life-giver, in buckets, raining down upon our ungrateful little heads and ruining our hair, is laughable. But humans will forever choose the negative over the positive assessment of a situation. I see the British tradition as, to be constantly ‘talking about the weather’ rather than ‘whinging about the rain’.
I love rain. Primarily because it can transform even the busiest London street in seconds, clearing a hassle-free path and offering brief respite from the hordes. I also love the visual boost in all things green and botanic – the grass fluffs up, trees are abundant with vitality and vegetables swell tantalisingly. The ‘rain’forest is the richest habitat on earth!
The rain that never gets you wet, was a nostalgic reminiscence I would share with my neighbours when living on a hill farm in south west Scotland. “Honestly, it’s a sort of light drizzle, refreshing but not drenching, like a delicate sprinkle or a fine mist”. Of course I was never believed. Having moved back to my homeland once more, I delight in the rain that doesn’t get you wet, for it exists and is the perfect form. Unobtrusive nourishment, win win.
Add in wind, though, and rain is suddenly, admittedly, considerably less appealing. Simply speaking, on the West it doesn’t bother with the detail and just socks you in the face….. back…… side of the head. Once back in the respite of shelter, multiple body areas feel as if they have been shot with salt pellets – bruised and stinging…….although the upside is that grrrr feeling of battling through horizontal wind and rain and the enormous pleasure of settling in front of the fire once back in safe haven. The East however, likes to bring some flare. Somehow the east wind and rain ends up breaching the defences and penetrating around the kidneys, the neck, the wrists…..anywhere it can and places it doesn’t seem it could. It dances around licking at bits of skin you were sure were hidden under layers of thick clothing plus a waterproof. But, this too gives you the grrr feeling although tinged with irritation admittedly. Getting warm is ecstasy, relaxing tense and defensive muscles, divine, and listening to it lash the windows from a place of comfort, pure joy.
Rain is the lifeblood of the planet. It ‘pumps’ round, keeping life going; through the flora and fauna and into the soil, down through the layers to the water table, into the rivers and the sea, then, up into the clouds it floats, ready to do it all again. Perpetual motion. We are 70% water and, depending on climate, we can die in hours without it.
I lived, for over a decade, in a drought-prone area and, also, over a decade in a soggy, flood-prone place, I have concluded that, as long as you have a boat you can escape too much water. You simply cannot, however, live without it.