Advent Day 7: I’m grateful for clouds.

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In the tropics and in the summer everywhere else, I love clouds. They’re like giant beach umbrellas. See, I love nature, just, you know, from under a big tree. I love swimming in the sea, sailing, reading and napping in green, grass-smelling parks (preferably next to a large body of water)… I just prefer doing it all from a shady spot.

Not being the sunbathing variety of human being, I consider clouds at least an ally.

When I was little, my parents always knew where to find me if I’d wandered off on a large beach: “She’ll be in the shallows near a tree somew….. Oh, look. There she is. Wading under that sea coconut tree. With a book.” I would emerge to swim only when the sky clouded over.

Clouds bring rain. And I like rain. I love how the air smells just before the rain– like crisp ozone and damp and steaming Tarmac. Clouds bring that, that electricity and attitude; or, at least, they certainly herald its approach.

I’m grateful for clouds.

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Dismal weather.

rain

I try to love the rain and cold, for it makes me so much more grateful for the beautiful days, in every way. It attunes every sense to the warmth, the sun, the balmy hot earthy late afternoons; sensitises them to seek the summery days. Hairs on my arms, eyes, pores of my skin, heart, mind and soul yearn for the mild blue-sky soil-pungent days that pepper the spring.

Humans… we seem to understand things most clearly only in contrast. That’s why we learn to love more deeply, I think, only after our hearts are broken; we empathise more deeply too; we become more whole and more human and, bit by bit, more compassionate, after loss, pain, emptiness, loneliness. They suck, but they deepen our hearts and souls and even make space in our minds.

So, I’m grateful for dismal weather, occasionally.


Attribution: Jumpin’ in the rain by Tony Fischer. Attribution Some rights reserved by Tony Fischer Photography. Picture cropped to remove border. Copyright belongs to the creator. Use of this picture in no way indicates an affiliation with the creator of the image, nor does it indicate that the creator shares the views reflected by the text.

I’m grateful for walks in warm summer rain.

Dance in the rain

It feels like surrender. In another lifetime, whenever it rained at the end of my work day, I used to take off my work pumps, carry them in one hand, the other holding my laptop bag (waterproof), and just walk barefoot the last 100 metres home. I’d splash slowly through the puddles and huge raindrops hurling themselves to the ground, flashes of bright white lightning chased closely by the whip-cracks of thunder.

I love walking in the pouring rain. I savour the deep sense of calm, peace and contentment that washes over me as the heavy rain takes away the tension, control, and the ability or inclination of anyone to look too closely at me. The rhythmic thrumming of rain on pavement is so soothing. Hair dripping, taste of freshwater and salt at the edge of my lips, blinking the blur away. I like the delicious anticipation of a warm bath at the end of this, and a pot of hot tea, and biscuits.

I’m grateful for walks in the rain.


Picture attribution: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by failing_angel

I’m grateful for rain.

drought

It hasn’t rained for months, where we are, and the days have been blazing hot. But it rained today; and I have never been happier to see a few minutes’ worth of big splotchy drops. Not quite the thunderous, rumbling, pounding cubic-mass of falling water accompanied by bat-blinding lightning that I’m much more used to, but, hey, when grass in every road divider and verge and park has been looking like the above, essentially desiccated and crisp kindling, for weeks and weeks, I’m betting you’d take whatever Momma Nature has deigned to flick in your direction.

So, there was none of that prancing around fully-clothed in the rain today that I had been looking forward to. Booo, Yahoo! Weather, booo. Still, it was rain.

Rain of dreams

Rain like balls of heavy bubble-glass that burst
And scatter little finite beads of life, life clings to first.
Crystal crowns and shiny, splashing pools reflecting light
Roaring fresh and loud over roads and screamed delight
That come with soaked and stamping little canvas shoes.
Pelting thunderous, warm and sweet-silk summer rain
Sweeps through the rooftops, parks and streets again. 
Thirsty peeling bark and crisp brown grass rejoice
The curl of rising steam from cooling tarmac sighs.
And rainbows of umbrellas; running dainty pumps;
Squelch of mud and muddy grass; and flying jumps,
Booms and claps of thunder deeply, brassily bellow,
Blinding lighting splits the sky, bright white, cold yellow.