I’ve always loved rain. This is a good thing, considering where I live. I love how rain makes the world smell, abundant with earth and verdant, living things. I love the privacy it cloaks you in, people passing by shrouded in hoods, hidden under wide-brimmed umbrellas. Everyone in their own private world. The introvert in me finds it peaceful. I used to go for walks in the rain when I was a teenager. A heavy rain would see me donning my army surplus jacket and my grandfather’s old army hat, and I’d wander through the ravine that snaked by the end of our road. I was so often alone at those times, listening to the crunch of gravel underfoot and the pattering of rain on the canopy of leaves above me. My thoughts could wander in the privacy the rain afforded me. It felt like I was the only person in the world, exploring the woods and streams. Sometimes I’d just go out into the backyard under a giant umbrella and crouch down, the edge of the umbrella almost touching the earth. I’d just stay there, listening to the sound of the rain. I think it is one of the most relaxing sounds in the world to me.
Summer rain has its own special place in my heart. As much as I love being in the woods and trees as it rains, there is something intoxicating about the smell of rain as it hits the hot summer streets, rising off concrete to fill the air. Ahh, beautiful petrichor…..(aaaand I just got side-tracked for 45 mins googling about petrichor-scented perfumes. Okay, back on track…) A city feels transformed to me in those moments. Peaceful, clean, a place I want to linger. I think that is one reason South East Asia fits with me so well – a monsoon rain drenching me in the heat of the day; warm, humidity wrapping my body as darkness falls; thunderstorms and ozone in the air. Bliss.
I felt a faint echo of it this evening as I walked home from the shop. Dusk was settling and the mild air was full of the smell of rain that has been falling for the last two days, misty droplets blown into my face by the wind. I live far from the most beautiful part of the city – it is urban and commercial and a little run-down. But I breathed the smell of the air in deeply as the darkening sky muted the colours around me, imparting a soft stillness, and it was beautiful. Full of promise.