Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rainy August day

Rain poured down for much of the day yesterday and throughout the evening, but I didn't mind a bit. I did feel bad for people who were taking the week as vacation, camping or hiking or biking or at the beach; and I'm sorry for kids at camp this week as well. But for me, the rain felt just fine.

For one thing, it meant one less thing on my To Do list: no worry about watering my outdoor flowering plants and herbs yesterday or today or probably for several days to come. It made for a soggy run, but one thing that being a daily runner has taught me is that the rain, like a lot of sometimes-undesirable entities, often sounds worse than it is. What seems like a downpour thumping against the roof and windows and trees often feels more like a steady sprinkle once I'm out in it, as long as I remember to wear a hat with a visor. And, as I always say, after the first five minutes you're as wet as you're going to get, and then after that it doesn't really matter anymore if it's raining.

Besides, rain almost seemed to complement the activities we had planned for the day. It was Holly's first day of a weeklong daycamp program, but unlike all the kids off at soccer camp or Girl Scout camp, rain was no deterrent to her group's activities: it's a creative writing camp. For most of it they sat in a pillowed reading nook to write, but at one point they sat under a canopy outdoors and wrote about the sounds and smells of the rain falling all around them.

Like Holly, I spent the morning writing – though I was actually reporting on a sculpture symposium taking place in a nearby town this week, not crafting metaphors and similes about the weather as Holly was – and then together she and I took the dog to the vet for a vaccination and then did some errands. Hopping in and out of the car and crossing the parking lot, first at the post office and then at the library and then on to the supermarket, we were windblown and drenched, but neither of us complained. Knowing how much Rick was hoping I'd pick up some Diet Coke for him, I even made a special stop just for that. By that point, it was an extension of the lesson I always apply to running: I was too soaked for it to really matter if I made yet another stop. Home in the late afternoon, I changed clothes and spent the next two hours cooking: my sister and her family, along with my mother, were coming over for dinner, and rather than a burden, it seemed like fun to prepare food and set the table.

I wish we could send some of this rain to Texas and other drought-stricken regions. I know my nattering about not minding getting wet while doing errands is meaningless compared to the suffering that rain – or lack of rain – causes so me people. But I also like to stop and acknowledge the rightness of the weather, when it so perfectly matches my mood as it did yesterday. There's still time for more hot, sunny weather before the summer ends, and more outdoor recreation as well. For now, I'm happy with rain.

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