It made me wonder: what does rain mean to YOU?
Is it life-bringing, do you await it with impatience, like I know some people do in the South of India? My dear friend Smitha Pai has been known to beg for the rains to start... A concept so alien to me that it always makes me laugh when I see her writing it down.
Over here in The Wetlands people are divided roughly into three categories:
1. they hate the rain
2. they don't mind the rain, but prefer it not to rain too often
3. they are indifferent to the rain
People from category 1 save up their money in order to flee to the South or even Asia at every opportunity. I know many folks in this category. The weird thing is that they come back with tales of monsoons in Thailand, or rainy season in Florida or the Caribbean and this rain is apparently in a different category all together. (Less wet?)
People from category 2 are the ones who, ever optimistic, buy lounge sets for their gardens, but include huge umbrellas. Better to be safe than sorry, eh? I belong to this category myself, and have a porch next to my house with a heater. We have been known to barbecue under this in the pouring rain, with thick sweaters and the heater on. But honesty begs me to admit that two years ago, when it rained all through the summer holidays, it drove me nuts. And I fled to Portugal for a fortnight.
People from category 3 slog through downpours in their shorts and stoically dig their potatoes whilst the puddles slosh over the rims of their shoes. I admire them!
Last August I met a young guy (in shorts, and short sleeves, on sandals) on a Rotterdam street while the rain poured from his face, and he had a sopping wet towel wrapped around his neck. I burst out laughing and he burst out laughing as well, and it made my day.
Rain can be very erotic.
One of the defining records of my youth is the one (I believe it was Barry White, I'm not sure, I'll look it up) where a woman tells the story of walking in the rain with the one she loves. You hear the sound of the rain, and people calling out to each other, and car doors slamming, and somehow this is so intimate that it made me (12 at the time) long for a lover of my own. (And it made me want to learn how to play the bass, something I am doing now that I am in my late fifties. Just listen to the last part of the song - a bass lick to die for!)
Obviously rain can be nasty.
No need to tell that to people around my parts. Rain, especially combined with storm, is something to be reckoned with. We do take our weather very seriously over here. People pay huge amounts of money to get themselves a good storm insurance.
Today we have actually been warned that the weather could become bad. So far all we've had was rain. The bearable kind.