In praise of rainy days

August 19, 2008 | Uncategorized | 35 comments

After a summer of hot, dry (did I already say hot?) weather, we’re finally getting some rain over here. The increasingly dark clouds that roll by outside my window remind me of how much I love rainy days. Just like with cold winter weather, there’s something about threatening weather outside that makes me feel warm and peaceful inside.

I was pondering why I was so delighted by the echoes of thunder in the distance as I cleaned the carpet this morning (naturally, the day I finally clean our white carpet is when it’s going to be wet and muddy outside), and I think I finally figured out what it is: bad weather days are rare opportunities to fully appreciate the simple gift of shelter.

Here in wealthy America it’s easy to take for granted how easily and lavishly our basic needs of food, water and shelter are met. With the first two, I find that there are more frequent reminders: every now and then when I walk into my grocery store I’m able to take a step back and see the almost unimaginable abundance that is available to us, and when I return home after walking the kids to the park on a scorching summer day I occasionally remember to be grateful that I have such easy access to clean water. But how often do I really appreciate simply having a sturdy roof over my head? It usually takes a good storm to remind me.

Here in the ‘burbs, I occasionally feel a pang of envy at the McMansions in the neighborhoods around us. We live in the cheapest neighborhood in our immediate area, and sometimes as I drive home I think about how nice it would be to have a 2, 700 sq. ft. house with some grand layout that included a spiral staircase, lavish deck or designer kitchen. But then, when I hear the roar of rain pounding down on the roof and see a lawn chair tossed across the yard by the wind, I instantly feel thrilled that I just have a stable, sturdy house that keeps my family safe. Even when the downpour gets so thick that I can’t see the back fence, not a single drop touches the heads of my children; and even as the screens rattle loudly as the wind gusts get more powerful, we don’t feel so much as a single puff of air. Here in our carpeted, temperature-controlled little fortress, even in the midst of a raging storm we are not only safe, but we are comfortable.

Anyone else love a good rainy day?

Photo by Steve Took It

35 Comments

  1. RJW

    Thank you so much for the reminder to be grateful for what we have and not envious of what we do not.

  2. Duffy

    Is there anything more comforting than waking to a rainy day in summer? Or being inside with a cup of hot chocolate in a freezing November rain?

  3. Lela

    I love it too, especially when we are all at home and don’t have anywhere to go. It is SO cozy! I’m constantly reminding my children of the abundance we live in here in the USA. I consider myself very wealthy even though in the eyes of most other Americans, I would not be called so. In the eyes of the rest of the world, I am rich. The Bible says, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

  4. Courageous Grace

    I used to live in Puyallup, WA and moved to TX when I was 13. When I lived in Washington, I was always complaining about how it was always raining, always cloudy, etc.

    Now having lived in TX for over a decade I am a bit more appreciative of rain.

    I have a blog post you might enjoy, http://courageousgrace.blogspot.com/2008/08/rain-and-memories.html

    Enjoy the rain while it lasts!

  5. JimmyV

    Rain storms are great but I’m more for lightning. The might of the Lord on display is far better than television! Thanks for the shelter reminder, in a whirlwind of home improvement, I can easily forget how great our little place is.

  6. Becky

    Jennifer,
    I just found your blog through Like Merchant Ships. I loved your post on the well-worn apron. I have 2 custom made aprons, hanging up at home, not been worn once. How awful is that! I need to get them out and get them dirty. Also I so agree with you – I love a rainy, cooler day. I live in the DFW area and after a week or so of some scorcher temps, I am ready for fall to begin!

  7. Hope@Pinkadoodledoo

    Beautiful reminder today! I love the smell of rain and the sound of it on the rooftops too. I partially want a metal roof just to hear the rain on it!

  8. Jeana

    I love rainy days, and I’ve always loved cold weather, too. I suspect that might be different if I lived somewhere other than Texas.

    My husband and kids were laughing at me one day during our vacation when I wanted to “get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.” The “beautiful weather” I wanted to enjoy was cool, cloudy, and threatening to rain at any moment. Two days earlier it was 107. I still hold to my opinion. (And we did enjoy our long walk in it!)

  9. nicole

    I do love a good rainy day. It makes we want to wear my lazy clothes and get cozy on the couch with a good book. And since I’m terrified of tornados, I do regularly give thanks for my sturdy house.

  10. Emily (Laundry and Lullabies)

    I haven’t thought of it like that before, but I LOVE rainy days. The stormier the better!

  11. Patrick O'Hannigan

    I do! Why, sometimes I can even be found singin’ in the rain; just singin’ in the rain.

  12. sara

    I like them too but I think it’s because it gives me an excuse to stay in without feeling guilty.

  13. Carrien

    me I love them. And blizzards if no one has to drive anywhere.

    I like the cozy fire and warm drink and a book part of it too, and candles.

  14. calrablat

    I love this perspective, but I have to admit I’m usually out IN the rain. 😀

  15. April

    I really needed to read this and remember how lucky I am to have a house and not always be frustrated it’s not big enough. Thank you for the important lesson in being grateful.

  16. Melanie B

    Oh yes. I love rainy days. And thundery stormy days too. We don’t get those as often here as I recall having them in Texas and I miss the drama.

  17. Carrie

    When I read your post I realized I felt that but didn’t know that was what it was.
    I am in So. FLA and with Fay flirting with us I was so incredibly cozy in our home. I just thought I was enjoying a nice break from all the sunshine.
    But while we were out, the clouds definatly made me cold and wanting and returning home made me feel so warm and so content.

  18. truthfinder

    Give me the fresh coolness of a glorious rainy day over a sandy-beach-in-summer-sun ANY time!!!

  19. Ouiz

    Yes, I LOVE rainy, overcast, cool days. When autumn rolls around and those days are the norm, I am almost giddy. My husband thinks it’s so funny to see my in my “fall mood.”

    And you’re right… it’s all about shelter, about cocooning myself in my safe haven while outside is a mess. I want to snuggle with a hot cup of tea, light some candles, and read… or cook… and be thankful for all that we have.

    I can’t picture anything more comforting than the smells of fresh bread or a pot of chili on a cold rainy day in Autumn. And in those months, when the sun sets around dinner time, I am THRILLED to be able to welcome my husband home to our (LITTLE!!) house with warm lamplights glowing in the window and the smells of home greeting him when he walks in the door.

    I get so jealous sometimes of people who have large houses, but when I’m cocooning, I’m thankful for a small, welcoming home that feels like it’s giving me a big hug, rather than one that would be too open… too spacious… and would make me feel lost.

    Now the *thunder* is a different story. I worry that lightning will strike one of the many HUGE trees we have close to the house. (never worried about this stuff before I had kids…)

  20. Sherry

    I grew up in West Texas where we appreciate rain, any rain. Now I live in Houston, but I still love the rain. The sound of rain and thunder speaks to me of refreshing and God’s provision.

  21. Suzywoozy

    This is much more guilt-inducing for me, because in India, the poor, the homeless are so much closer. When I admire the rain pouring down from inside my dry warm home, there are people we know in the slums who have leaking roofs, and damp everything. Not to mention the street beggars. Winter is the same… at least then we give out sweaters and blankets.

    It seems strange sometimes that I can feel so cozy wrapped up in m blanket sipping a cup of tea while I KNOW of the discomfort and problems not even a kilometre away.

  22. estellar

    how true! i love rainy days too for another reason though. i think it’s the best weather to have a sleep/lie in and listen to the rain. it’s very therapeutic… =) but i’ve never thought about rainy days the way you have. thanx for sharing another thing we can thank God for =)

  23. amy

    Great post. I like to come up with five things everyday for which I’m grateful, so I don’t take so much for granted. Things like shelter, clean water and food come up a lot on my lists.

  24. el-e-e

    Oh, yes, a good Texas summer storm is the BEST. 🙂

    Thanks for the good reminders to be grateful!

  25. Liz

    I’m afraid that this summer I DON’T like rainy days because we’ve had so many of them. The house smells moldy, the parquet flooring in the living room is buckling, the weeds took over the garden because of all the rain, and the mosquitoes have been downright vicious. It stopped raining long enough for us to have a wedding for our daughter, but it’s a good thing we didn’t plan an outdoor reception. The farmers haven’t been able to harvest hay, so the price is apt to be through the roof next winter. I’m glad we have a home, I’m glad we have a garden, but I sure could do with a few more sunny days…

  26. Multiple Mom T

    Yes, for exactly the same reason. Thank you for reminding me!

  27. Shelly W

    Occasionally, yes, I like a rainy day, but not usually. I live where it gets pretty darn cold in the winter and I usually envy the weather you have down there (Texas, right?).

    I’m glad to read your reminder to be grateful. I just returned from Europe where life is so much simpler than it is here, and I found myself contemplating what I could do to simplify my life. I think taking stock in how much we DO have, rather than looking around at how much we don’t have, is a good place to start. Thanks!

  28. The Bottolfini's

    Oh how I miss rainy days. I grew up in the Midwest and loved storms. Now I live on the Central Coast of California (husband is in the military) and we have had ONE thunderstorm in 2 years. They just don’t happen out here.

    Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for what we have.

  29. Drusilla

    I love rain from the inside when it’s warm, from the outside if I’m dressed for it and, on very hot days, even if I’m not dressed for it. Squoosh, squoosh, squoosh from my shoes is one of my all time favourite sounds. Alls sorts of weather is so wonderful. I hope there is weather in heaven.

  30. The Sojourner

    My boyfriend and I LOVE the rain–we usually prefer to be out in it, though. Once we sat on a bench sharing an umbrella and talking–one of my favorite memories. Another time we were walking up a hill and when we reached the top and stood there for a moment with sheets of rain pelting us, my boyfriend said, “Which of Charles Wallace’s ladies said, ‘Wild nights are my glory’?”

    (It was Mrs. Whatsit, if I remember correctly.)

  31. a

    Do you know the song “Dixie Storms” by Lone Justice? (circa maybe 1987). When I went to college in New England and stayed for years, it was one of the few songs that made me weep for home (Georgia). The lyrics alone don’t do justice to the power of the song (at least for anyone who understands Southern thunderstorms)–it’s worth finding it online for a listen, but here they are:

    I received a letter, like so many others
    Mama said, “How’s life in the city?
    My your sister’s grown
    And you just missed those awful dixie storms
    Thank God they’ve passed
    Those awful dixie storms”

    I left so long ago
    I’d forgotten just what for
    But they say
    When a big city beckons
    You have no choice but to go
    And here, there are no dixie storms
    Thank God, there are no dixie storms

    And the smoke on the street
    Makes me wonder why I stay away
    From those gentle dixie storms

    When I was younger
    How I would wonder
    What made the sweet Georgia rain
    Make me feel so warm
    And how God made a dixie storm
    And how I loved those dixie storms

    And the rumble in the sky
    Brings a shudder to my soul
    Oh how I loved those dixie storms

  32. Kelly @ Love Well

    I loved the rain more when we lived in San Diego and they were immensely rare. There, a rain day was a chance for me to be quiet and indoors and bake cookies and make chili.

    But here in Minnesota, I have more than enough time to do the cozy thing. I treasure the sunny, warm days now.

    We always want what we don’t have, yes?

  33. expat

    Whenever you see those MacMansions, consider:

    How tedious it would be to have to clean a 2700 square foot house!
    With 3 children and your great writing talent, your time is too precious to spend it on that!

    And you know how it is — the bigger the space, the more the pull is to fill it with stuff, which only leads to a sense of oppression and depression in the end.

    When we moved to Europe, we scaled down from a house to a small rented apartment and have never felt more free and unencumbered.

  34. Amy Jane (Untangling Tales)

    I think I already showed you my poem that mentions rain, but most people would agree rain here is usually different than yours.

    Just last week, though, we got our annual set of nightly thunderstorms, with their buckets of rain coming down.

    “This is when I want a dog,” I wrote in my journal. How else could I get an excuse to run through that much rain for fun? I finally said this aloud, and 10 minutes later my husband took my hand and we ran a circuit of the yard together. Laughing like drunks, we made it back to the house wringing wet.

    Chalk up one more point for saying what’s really on your mind.

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