Drops of rain in summer, like welcome cold daggers that hit the skin on a sticky day. Rain is evocative. It’s a reminder that not all summer is sunshine. Rainstorms evoke nostalgia for years gone by. Rain is pure metaphor. Tears, cleansing, pain, sadness, joy, romance- all of the emotions are embedded in the power of the heavens to open up, release and pour down.
I used to dismiss rainstorms as a trite and common summer occurrence. Thunder and lightning, downpours, counting the time between crackling thunder and hot fiery flashes as a tried and true way to measure the distance of the storm. Counting one one-thousand, two one-thousand, and so on after the lightning before the thunder to asses the storms whereabouts, used to help calm my fear as a child. When things encroached too close for comfort, I’d call my father into my room to sit with me and hold my hand. And he did with unwavering attention. After all the torment was at a safe distance, I’d tell him it was ok to go, albeit hesitantly, for sometimes, the distant thunder would roll back around rattling my nerves all over again. But these powerful rainstorms left a curiosity in me, a tenderness and an intrigue about mother natures pure mystery and stormy moods. I yearned to learn more about the powers that be, above in the sky that contained a fierce ability to create such an intensely emotional event, sometimes leaving severe wreckage in it’s wake.
Now, as a West Coast dweller, thunder, lightning and rainstorms are a rare treat to be honored and revered. The fear is gone although the curiosity is still alive. To come back East in the height of summer and be caught in a rainstorm is pure ecstasy. I crave them like dark chocolate and a good lover. When I leave my hometown of NY to return to my 20 year home of Northern CA where the dryness of the earth is devastating and heartbreaking, I will wish more than anything that these storms could come back with me.