I don’t really dislike rainy days. I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them, either. In my younger years, I loved rainy days. When the weather would turn dreary with a little bit of wet chill in the air, I would feel so happy. I think it made me feel kind of cozy inside or something. Or maybe it was because a rainy, gray day was the perfect excuse to say outside chores could wait a bit, and I felt free to curl up with a good book or favorite TV show. You know, almost like the universe said, “Hey, I know you’ve been working pretty hard at keeping all your stuff together out there. So take a little vacation day. On me.” Thanks, Universe. That’s super sweet of you.
Plus, I grew up in South Texas. It doesn’t rain there very often. In fact, we would sometimes go weeks or months with little to no rain at all. When you’re watching everything around you turn brown before drying up into dust … Well, a little rain feels like a party and a half. So that probably had quite a bit to do with my youthful fascination for rainy days.
Now I’m all grown up. (According to the calendar, anyhow.) And I live in a place where it rains frequently. And part of “adulting” is being the one who has to deal with the fall-out caused by two medium-large dogs who love running around in an extremely soggy, muddy backyard. The dogs smell like mud. The house smells like mud. My hands smell like mud (from trying unsuccessfully to clean up muddy paws). Basically, everything in the whole, entire world smells like mud. It is not a good smell. I think it’s better than fish. But not by much.
I don’t feel quite the same level of love for rainy days. There is some nostalgia there; maybe it’s the little girl in me trying to peek through the cynical, grouchy adult I’ve become in my second twenties. Mostly, though, the rain now feels like a nuisance. I don’t have the liberty of staying inside, so I know I will get wet. My feet will be wet. My hair will be even more limp and lifeless than usual. My glasses will be spotted over. Traffic will be horrible, because people can NOT drive in the rain. Everything will take three times longer than it should because all of my things will be wet. And my house will smell like mud and wet dog. This isn’t even taking into account the muddy paw prints and smears of mud all over my clean floors — and sometimes partway up onto the walls, too. What can I say? I have very active, busy dogs.
But, after the rain stops … Wow.
After the rain stops, everything is magical. The clouds are low and tinged with a little pink as the sun starts to peek through once again. Sometimes, there is a rainbow. Fat droplets sit on the tops of leaves and petals, catching the sun and blinking back pastel colors in the watery light. The world feels fresh and new. Even the air is lighter, somehow. It’s as if the entire world took a giant breath and let it out on a long, satisfied sigh. And, just for a few moments, I sometimes manage to forget that I’m a grumpy, grouchy person reluctantly adulting through her second twenties. For a few moments, I close my eyes, tilt my face to the brand-new sun, feel the wind on my skin … And dream.