After a few weeks of relatively nice weather (for Britain) it’s started raining. It’s still April so it could just about be classified as “April showers” and while people may complain, it’s one of my favourite times of the year.
Some people like scorching hot summer days with blue skies, not a cloud in the sky, and just the sun beating down like it was the surface of Mercury. Others love the winter with the snow covering the countryside with a blanket of, eh, snow and the activities of the season (skiing and snowboarding to name but two). To be fair, I like both those weather extremes too. As a Scotsman I can always do with a tan (pasty white skin most of the time unfortunately) and I love snowboarding and the bitter, non-humid cold of winter. But back to my main point. I love rain.
I went to the supermarket to buy some food. Okay, I’ll admit that this paragraph could have started in a more interesting way – but it’s started already and it’s too late. I’ve got this habit of doing two things when I get to a supermarket car park: (1) I park in the first available space rather than search around for the closest one to the shop – I reckon that in the long run it works out quicker, and (2) I do nosey parking – reversing into a space leaving the nose of the car out so that I can get a quick getaway. Don’t ask me why I do this, I’m just strange.
Anyway, back to the main point. When I came out of the supermarket I was parked at pretty much the opposite end of the car park. I was just wearing a light, long-sleeved cotton top. And it was torrentially raining. People were sprinting all over the place and holding bags above their heads in a vain attempt to stay dry. Not me. I was just ambling along getting soaked.
It’s hard to describe why I like rain. One of the things is the fact that it puts you in perspective. You have no control over the weather, you can’t reason with it, and you can’t shout at it and expect it to go away. It’s there and it doesn’t care about you. It is unpredictable and you are totally at its mercy. I’ve been close to hypothermia on the mountains in Scotland before and it was a reminder that the weather respects nobody (it took a long time to get the heat back into my body and as is the case with hypothermia you don’t realise how dangerous your situation is until after the event).
A heavy rain storm is all-encompassing. It can completely engulf you and removes all distractions around you. And I like that. The smell of rain hitting hot concrete on a warm day is one of my top-ten smells (along with “new car smell” and “new tennis balls smell”) and always brings me back to when I was a kid playing football in the garden on a rainy summer day. So it has nostalgic value too.
But the number one reason I like rain is that it makes me feel alive. At one with nature and how hard it can be. And in this modern, hi-tech world that happens all too infrequently these days. Oh, and because I’m strange. But I mentioned that earlier.