Rainy Days

We’re having a rainy day here in the Shenandoah Valley. It’s an all-day soaker. A month ago we needed a rain like this when our lawns were turning brown in the drought we were having. We were praying for rain. Today things were already green, so we are not in need of it as much.

A day like this makes me turn inward and reflect. I’ve been thinking about how rain shows up in our literature and in our sayings. Of course there is the one I learned when I was very young about someone talking to the rain, asking it to go away and come back another day because little Tommy wants to play. But the rain didn’t stop me from going out and playing when I was a little girl… I loved to go out and splash in the puddles in my bare feet in a summer rain.

Then there is the saying that we should save money for a rainy day. I understand saving food for a rainy day… especially in the days when people would forage for food in the wild, and later their cultivated gardens. Just today when I was making squash soup for lunch, I was glad we’d harvested enough parsley so I didn’t have to go out in the rain to get some. But where did the idea come from to put money away for a rainy day… do we spend more money on rainy days, or is this one of those metaphors that equate rain with sorrow or sadness or need?

There is the song with the first line, “Raindrops keep falling on my head,” in which rain is equated with the blues.

Back when I was living in Ohio as a teenager, I did not like rainy days. By then I had become a work horse to Mem, so it meant I had to do “indoor” work in the semi-darkness of a gray day. And it seemed like there were so many of those “dreab” days. Today I am grateful for shelter from the rain, and for Nature watering our garden. It is a good reminder that without the rainy days, I tend to take the sunny ones for granted. It is nature’s way to have those clear days without a cloud in the sky, those days when there are clouds floating by with blue skies above them, those days when there is a mixture of sun and rain when we are blessed by the Beauty of a rainbow, with the eternal reminder of Hope, and then there are days when the gray clouds hover above and drop rain down on Mother Earth. We need all these kinds of days, just as we need all kinds of experiences to feel fully alive.

It reminds me of the poem I learned as a young Amish girl, “God hath not promised.” At least I thought it was a poem, but today I discovered it is also a song. Here is rendition of it by the Mennonite Hour Singers.

I would never have chosen the hardships or struggles in my life. Rather, they chose me. It seemed I needed to learn lessons from them. Today I wonder whether there is a collective lesson humans need to learn from the pandemic. None of us would have chosen this, but since it is here to stay, at least for some time, what is it we can learn from it? I yearn to get together with others and receive embodied hugs, not figurative ones. I want to go to church and hear the voices singing so lustily that we raise the roof on our church each Sunday. I long to look in my friends faces as we have heart-to-heart talks. I want to do these things without fear that we are going to perpetuate this illness. And yet what is called for is “safe distance.” I mourn the loss of all these things.

I know one thing I learned from this. If in my lifetime, I have the privilege of experiencing these things again, I will never take them for granted again. I have learned that these are precious things that deserve my gratitude and joy.

I wonder, what else am I taking for granted in my life that I would miss terribly if it was no longer part of my everyday experience? I know the answer to that question. I know I take the love of my life for granted during these months of getting so few breaks from one another as we shelter in place. If David was not “in there with me” right now, I would miss him more than I can allow myself to imagine. I need to thank him every day for being here with me.

So these are my rainy day reflections.

What associations do you have with rainy days?

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10 thoughts on “Rainy Days”

  1. Thank you for this post helping me be grateful for another rainy day. I had garden work I wanted/needed to do but that will wait.

    I hope we all learn the lessons of this pandemic–it will be easy to slide back into forgetting/moving on from the negative aspects. And yes, we pray for good health for all.

  2. We are getting caught up on the rain – little (very little) by little – at least in our neck of the woods. We also have been in a drought situation. The weeds were wilting, the tomatoes are not growing – just a crazy kind of year nature wise. I’m not to keen on wondering what next year will bring.
    I lam grateful for the small amounts of rain we have been getting – versus the devastation others have been getting. Here’s to a “happy fall season’.

    Maybe we should be “Singing In the Rain” instead of saying “Rainy Days and Mondays Always get me down!” Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    I, for one, will be happy when this world gets back to “normal” (Hopefully)!

    1. Kris, thank you for your comments. I didn’t think about “Singing in the Rain,” but I agree, that is a good thing to do.

      I wonder if the world will ever “get back to normal?” I’m thinking it won’t be the normal we were used to, but a new normal. Things do feel topsy-turvy now, that is for sure.

      Great to hear from you, Kris.

  3. Today is a rainy, heavy clouded day for us. We so need the rain!! Like you Saloma I’m making soup, only mine is beef vegetable. I love rainy days, always have. They make my husband groan while I savor them. Even as a little girl I loved them. I have a picture in my mind just as clear as if the memory was made yesterday. I’m sitting in our kitchen around the old metal table with my brothers and sister playing board games.Through the screen door in the kitchen we played to the sound of rain bouncing of the metal roof. There was no weeding gardens, hanging laundry or hauling water from our spring for the gardens. Isn’t it amazing how the little things in life often become the biggest. I loved those days. When my boys were young and we had no air conditioning, if a light rain came with out lighting tagging along my boys and I would run around in the yard barefoot, letting the rain cool us down. I often made tents inside for them to play in, enjoyed an inside picnic lunch and read some story books. I guess I wanted them to enjoy the rainy days as much as I did. Guess some of it stuck because my youngest son, like myself loves rainy days. This year has been a long and often times difficult one, but like you Saloma I’m so glad this journey has been with someone I love. My husband has been my blessing from God through it all. Oh, by the way, I’m so glad you are back to writing I have missed you!!

    1. Pamela, thank you for sharing your memories of your childhood, and of the days when your children were young, when you were making rainy days magical for them.

      I love to hear rain on a metal roof. We had that back in Sunderland, though it was well insulated, which meant it was more muffled. I kinda liked it that way, though… it wasn’t deafening that way.

      Pamela, thank you for prodding me to get back to writing my blog. After my long dry spell, I hope to be better at staying with it.

      Blessings to you and your family.

  4. Hello Salome, I remember the first time I ever saw a television. It was at our neighbor’s house. The movie “Singing in the Rain” was playing. I loved the song immediately and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was so bad about the TV. I remember singing the song again and again and replaying it in my mind. I loved the rainy days because it meant not having to go outside and work or hoe the weeds in the bean fields. I still love hearing the rain falling and have several CD’s with the sound of rain falling.

  5. Two thoughts to share:

    One’s perspective on the rain depends a lot on the context. In India, rain and its description in poetry or song bring associations of joy and plenty. When you live somewhere dry that’s dependent on the monsoon (which may not come on time or at all) to get enough food to eat and water to drink, rain is something you yearn for. The unrelenting sun is the enemy. I’m sure people who live in a lot of the world’s desert regions feel the same way.

    As far what to make of our current condition, I think the lesson we’re supposed to take from the pandemic — and from many other disruptive events in our lives — is simply: PAY ATTENTION!! As you mentioned, Saloma, we tend to take things and people for granted as we cruise along on autopilot. We need to be shocked into full consciousness from time to time.

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