There was a fantastic storm over Sydney this afternoon, the first of the season. I was caught in it on the way home and got saturated. Which I absolutely loved. There’s something very liberating about walking in a summer rain shower. It’s warm enough that you don’t have to worry about getting cold and it just smells so wonderful.
While walking in the heaviest part of the down pour I felt the most happy and most at peace that I had all week. I was hopeful again.
There’s a strong tradition in my family of being outdoors during thunderstorms. When we were younger we would all gather on the front doorstep to watch the storm roll across the Sydney basin. Then when we were slightly older, my brother, sister and I would put on our gumboots and tromp outside to play in the gutter. This eventually involved taking off the gumboots and using them as a scoop to throw water at each other. We’d dam the flow of water with our feet and kick water at each other and generally just have fun in the rain, secure that we could wander back inside to a warm house with towels.
The Thais have a very different idea of rain. They are scared of it. In a tropical country that experiences monsoon. It has something to do with catching the flu and something to do with acid rain. They used to think I was mad when I would walk (not run) between shelters when it was raining, usually asking “aren’t you scared?”. Thailand had some fantastic rain showers. One morning the entire school was lined up for assembly, singing the national anthem. Off to our right we could see a cube of dense water approaching, “cube” is the only way to describe the way this rain was behaving. That was the fastest anthem I have ever heard, since we couldn’t move until it was finished. Then we all bolted for the classrooms.
Rain makes me happy. A serious downpour makes me very happy. It’s nice to remember what that feels like. It’s been a dumb week, month, thing.