Almost everyone I know thinks of rain as a bad thing. There are clichï¿½s about it: “rain on one’s parade.” There are pop culture references: “It Can’t Rain All the Time.” The weatherman sighs as he relates the unfortunate news: “Better cancel your weekend plans.” When it rains people constantly comment on how dreary and depressing the rain is. They complain about the picnic they won’t be having or the car they just had washed. My co-workers used to cringe and fret as the clouds got darker. Not me though. I love rain.
When I was growing up in Pennsylvania rain storms were a thing of beauty. I can remember turning out all the lights and sitting with my friends on the hall stairway that faced the front door, popcorn in hand, enjoying the natural light show flicker and dance across the darkened sky.
In my teenage years I remember lying on my bed, listening to the thunder with its mighty booms, or the soft rhythm of the rain drops like a familiar friend on a chilly autumn afternoon. I would watch as the trickles on the glass traced patterns as unpredictable as they were intricate. When the power went out I would play card games with my sister and my mother by candlelight at the dining room table. You could scarcely hear the pounding rain over the laughter.
When I moved to Texas the rain lost its romance for me for a short time. My “Native Texan” husband warned me about tornadoes and what to listen for and to watch for. He taught me to go into the bathroom and hide in the tub. He spoke of the dangers of a green tint in the sky. I would lie awake at night, my ears straining for the first sounds of sirens. If I watched the rain out the window at all, it was only because I was looking for funnel clouds. I could not laugh and have fun when the lights went dark or when thunder shook the walls.
Gradually my fears left me, and again I learned to marvel in the beauty of a storm. The world quiets in anticipation as the first few drops touch the parched ground. A soft rumble can be heard in the distance. I sit on the front porch with my dog at my feet and a hot cup of tea in my hands as I watch the rain roll across the neighborhood. God seems so close in those moments. The world seems so real.
Someday I will sit on that porch with my children and “Oooh!” and “Aaah!” as the lightning dances in the clouds. We’ll pop corn, light candles and play games. They’ll dance in the puddles, wet hair plastered to their cheeks, clothes heavy and sticking to their limbs. And most of all, they will not be afraid.