Silver, gray and wet–everything is damp and swollen with moisture. Shimmering beads hang from the tips of buds and line blades of grass like peas in a pod. It is raining again.
There was a time I cleaned the attic as I listened to the water pelting the roof, or organized my closets while drinking endless cups of tea. I might have made a brief foray into the rain with a waterproof jacket and rubber boots for the fun of a few drops on my face, but mostly I loved rainy days for all the stuff I could get done inside. I could never justify staying in when it was nice out, so when the rain came I relished the hours spent tending to my closets and cupboards.
I am just finishing a program called the Maine Master Naturalist Program, and it has ratcheted up my desire to peer into vernal pools, look under rocks, and shamelessly watch my animal neighbors’ private lives. There is so much to learn and observe, I really cannot waste any time inside, even if it is raining. When it rains, I don rain boots, hooded coat, grab my waterproof journal and out I go.
It is a beautiful world out there in the wet. I jump as hard as I can into a puddle and manage to get a few drops onto my husband’s legs. We are kids again, and laugh as we splash and inhale the mineral-rich wet air. Animals with wet noses have an increased sense of smell, and when the air is full of moisture, our sense of smell is enhanced, too. He repeats an old adage, “If the ash leafs out before the oak, prepare for a very big soak. If the oak leafs out before the ash, there will only be a little splash.” We look at each other, unsure which had been first, then realize neither has leafed yet. The verdict is still out on whether the summer will be wet or dry.
This year I got closer to the rain than ever before. I constantly stopped to pull out my phone to take a picture of moss embedded with drops of water, or reflections in a puddle. They were always there, but now I do not want to miss any of it. It is the details, the water along the edge of a spider web, or the wet gleam on a striped maple bud, that have me creeping through the woods taking endless photos I will never do anything with. The rain leaves drops, puddles, and drips. It is beautiful. I love the rain.
There is plenty to do indoors, and a book and a warm drink can be delightful. The wet, rainy world has wonders to share, though. Jump in puddles and watch the water shoot away. Kneel close to the ground and see a shimmering drop of water dangling precariously from the tip of twig.
Admittedly, exploring in the rain may not be so inviting if there is a torrential downpour. I suspect gale force winds and eye-stinging water just might drive me inside, but that is okay. My closets will be grateful.