Happy Rain Day

The Pacific Northwest is infamous for its wet, for its rain.

This is largely a deserved reputation.

Sure, during the summer it can be dangerously dry and baking hot, and most areas get a decent amount of snow in the winter, too, but we are defined, especially in the popular imagination, by rain.

We are people who thrive on cool and damp, here, like mushrooms, wild but ultimately predictable, staining outlandish colors and unpleasantly sticky, weirdly dry, or dusty with spores ready to spread our clones through the understory.

Actually, that last bit may only apply to literal mushrooms.

But the point is, rain.  Rain people, that’s us.

And also salmon people.  And forest people.  And hunters.  And farmers.  And ranchers.  And fruit-pickers.  And brewmasters.  And professional webcomic artists.  And cat sweater knitters.  And vegan cookie couriers.

Both vegans that are couriers of cookies AND couriers who carry vegan cookies, that is.  Probably vegan couriers of vegan cookies, too.  On bikes, of course.


We are in the middle of a good, solid soak right now.  I look my weather app and the sidebar ads are for plans to build an Ark.

The great blue heron that lives in the creek on the edge of our backyard is probably pretty psyched about this.  My small children are delighted, and muddy.  My chickens are distinctly bedraggled.  I am accepting the mud with as much grace as I can muster, but the rain?

The rain…

I love it.

I love the smell of it, the humidity in the air before it starts and the overwhelming scent of water during the fall and the earthy, confusingly-clean smell of soil bacteria doing its thing afterward.

I love the way it sounds on the roof or blown hard against the walls of the house.

I love the way it feels as individual, ponderous drops soak through my clothing, or as it softly splatters against my bare skin, or as icy splashes lick the fingertips I dip out of a barely-open car window.

I love the way tiny raindrops embroider cedar fronds, and big drips accumulate on maple leaf tips, and a steady mist seems to sow moss wherever it falls.

So basically, I’m living my best life right now, in the late spring Gorge.  If I didn’t have to spend so much of my time scrubbing mud out of some people’s clothing and hair, it would be idyllic.

But perhaps my favorite part of the rain is that when it rains outside, it changes everything inside, too.

By which I mean mud.  Everywhere.  Mud.  So much mud.  Yes.

But also also, a little damp chill in the air making people want to snuggle more.

Soup weather.

Wet clothes steaming in front of a fireplace.  Hot mugs for frozen fingers to cup.

Midday sun through windows reduced to a kind of sepia-toned amorphous glow.

Beautiful watery patterns tracing down glass, constantly changing.

Warm baths, warm beds, warm socks.

Rainy spring days are kind of like a vacation from the preparations and hustle of renewal, like even the earth is taking a mental health day.

Sometimes, being humans, we need to resist that clarion call to snuggle up and Do Things Instead Because Expectations.

But I think it’s important, especially during these weeks when the rain never seems to slacken, to declare some Rain Days for ourselves, too.

I’m taking one.  You should, too.

Drink deep.  Soak it up.  You’ll need it later.