There’s something comforting about a good ol’ Southern rainstorm, isn’t there? We just made it through August in the Lowcountry, and I am feeling quite comforted at this point!
If you feel an affinity for rain, you’ll understand. If you’re a pet owner, you might not share my enthusiasm. I get it. But I’m not talking about threatening thunderstorms with lightning everywhere.
I’m talking about those long, steady summer rains that continue for hours, making the world a brilliant green and bringing down the outdoor temperature a few degrees.
These might be gully washers that leave your front yard with a new wading pond near the driveway – the ones that wash your car no matter how dirty it is.
These are the storms that emerge from those ginormous blobs on the radar that are green, yellow and red in order of intensity. I enjoy it when the green blob covers the Southeastern seaboard, because that means the rain will last for a while.
Time to settle into a comfy chair with a good book. There has been a lot of chair settling this season, hasn’t there?
Heavy showers are great when one is safely at home but being outside is another issue. To gather information for an article, I recently met with a group of ladies on the covered deck at a local restaurant. It had been cloudy that day, but no one was anticipating the deluge we got.
About 15 minutes after we were seated, the skies opened up, lightning flashed, thunder crashed and we could barely hear one another for the next 20 minutes! It was great, and just a bit scary.
Weather has always been an easy topic for conversation, but recently the rain has been relegated to variations on a single snippet: “What’s with all this RAIN?”
I saw a social media post last week from a Lowcountry newcomer: “Is this normal?!” Yes, my new friend – it is. Welcome!
Not only does rain occupy our conversations now, it occupies the sound waves. Have you ever considered how many songs have been written about rain? The first few I thought about are sad and negative.
The most well-known sad rain song, perhaps, is Karen Carpenter’s soulful 1971 rendition of Paul Williams’ “Rainy Days and Mondays.” I just reread the lyrics and I feel bad for anyone who feels that sad.
I just don’t equate rain with sadness. To the contrary, rain is glorious! Rain nourishes living things in nature – it brings plants back to life! It freshens up lakes, rivers and oceans with its liquid bounty. It feeds critters.
Rain is vital to the world’s farmers. Just ask my friends in Illinois who farm 1,800 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans. Can we here in the lush coastal plain imagine betting your year’s income on how much rain falls – or doesn’t –on your crops?
There are some happy rain songs too.
The 1969 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” featured a nice little ditty by Burt Bacharach and Hal David titled “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” B.J. Thomas recorded it expressly for the movie. This rain song is a little more positive, describing someone who sees beyond the rain, doesn’t complain about it, and feels free because of it.
While the most famous of all rain songs is probably Prince’s “Purple Rain,” the most joyful has to be “Singin’ in the Rain,” danced and sung so beautifully by the inimitable Gene Kelly in the cinematic classic scene. “What a glorious feeling – I’m happy again!”
That’s the exuberance I feel for rain!
When I was a kid, I loved splashing in the puddles – especially in the summer when I was barefoot. I am grateful for parents who allowed us to play in the rain and otherwise get dirty playing outside.
Next time a rainstorm rolls in, if you’re so inclined, wouldn’t it be fun to kick off your shoes and head outside?