Upon waking this morning, my first hope was for rain, despite clear skies that met my eyes. I noticed a red sky in the east as the sun was rising, an almost certain sign that a storm of some kind is on its way. It's been dry for several weeks, and since the gutters were clear there was really no reason to keep my hope at bay. Perhaps my wish was precipitated by my bedtime reading, a chapter from Peter Ackroyd's Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination called "It Rained All Night," which catalogues references to dreary weather in British literature.
Earlier this evening when I looked out from the windows in the writing center to see the world a-drizzle, I exclaimed "Oh, happiness!" A friend who was sitting nearby responed, "We just need to pack her off to England and she'll be happy forever." (Which I'm entirely convinced is true!)
Why the fascination with rain? I like that rain can mean so many things. It is, I'll grant, depressing when it lingers on for days at a time, as my friends in wet climates will likely attest. But without water, the world should become a wasteland where nothing will grow. Perhaps we might consider rain a metaphor for the seeming miseries in our lives. Dreary to endure, they will ultimately increase the verdure of our hearts and minds and souls.