Buckets of Rain

Cold water. Water that smells like trees. Falling in black puddles at my feet.

It’s been raining for a month in Sydney. The winter rains. Absent for years since the drought came but back now in full force.

The rain falls like a rock ‘n’ roll song. Or a blues tune. ‘I’m back, baby!’ it sings. ‘Hey, Hey, did you miss me?’

I press my face against the glass. Transfixed by a world turn to water. Mud lines the streets. Fallen leaves have been pushed into furrows against the gutters. All is sodden, drenched.

Even when the clouds retreat, crystals of water remain, perfect as molten glass. It is not long before the rain returns, ferocious, pitiless.

It changes you if you let it, this indoor existence. Spirits are dampened, like the gloom that arises from boarded-up rooms and hallways in shadow.

I think of songs about rain. Many of them are metaphors for love. Walking in the rain. Standing in the rain. Raining in my heart. I think it’s gonna rain today. Tears are rain. Rain is tears. Drop, drop, drop in perfect rhythm on the roof. One would be forgiven for thinking the rain was orchestrated by some kind of celestial musician.

There is a sense of anonymity in a world filled with rain as the colours on the streets run and blend into one another. Covering up, wearing sensible shoes, carrying umbrellas like masks, are nice places to hide. A sense of complacency grows with each further hour the rain passes.

My neighbour has old tin buckets on her verandah. She uses them to catch the drips from the roof. They ping and squeal like gunshots in old Western movies. They each have a different pitch. I toy with asking her if I can rearrange them, place them in an order that plays a tune. I would aim for Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head but know I would only get the old nursery rhyme Rain Is Falling Down. That pitter patter bit used to drive me to distraction when my son sang it at three years old. Twenty times a day.

Tomorrow the sky is set to clear. There are unconfirmed sightings of sunshine. I feel regretful as if I am bidding farewell to an old friend. I will miss the soft focus of rain on windows, the leaves shaking themselves free of water, the birds trilling as worms burst to the surface of the earth.

The other day I stood really still. I listened to the rain, to my breathing. And slowly, the way water slips from clouds not yet dark enough, my heart began to beat in time with the rain. I was a creature of water, a nymph, a daughter of time itself, eloquent, unstoppable, only happy when it rains.

[ Image – Rain……rain by LonelyPierot at Deviant Art.]

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27 thoughts on “Buckets of Rain

  1. A couple of observations:

    1) If heavy rains dampen your spirit, you should try snow, ice and bitter cold winds for about 3 months out of the year, cold rain and greyness for about another 2. That’s called winter and late fall/early spring where I live (Northern U.S.A). It’s like being Nanuk of the North for almost half the year.

    Sorry, I just had to gloat about having you “beat” in that department.

    2) Yes, rain is usually a metaphor for tears over lost love in song lyrics. However, “I’m only happy when it rains”, if you’re referring to the song by Garbage, is about a generally depressed wordview that seeks to make everything “complicated” and doesn’t really refer to romance. Great song, great album.

    Just thought I’d point that out.

    3) It’s nice to be able to stand and listen to the rain, and in your case, your own heartbeat. I make a point of treasuring moments like that. As Borat would say, “Berry niiiiice!”

    3) Great blog. I’ll take Selma in the City over that dumb show that uses “in the city” in its title any day.

    Regards,

    R.W.

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  2. P.S. I’m with Richard on having you beat. I live just outside of Chicago in the U.S. and winters can be brutal. Days and days with no sunshine; frigid temperatures, sometimes dropping below zero; shoveling snow and scraping ice. Brrrr.

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  3. I’m sure you’ve heard by now how our entire Midwestern section of the US is drowning in water. Here in the Southeast, even if we get weeks of rain, we’re still in a certified drought. We still need many months of rain, to ‘catch up’. Fires engulf the Southwest and California, and just now, on TV, this Administration(I’m referring to George W. & co.) are saying “global warming” has caused the troubles in the mIdwest. Nice to know that this poor-excuse-for-a-President has finally agreed Global Warming EXISTS. I recall he said. only a few years ago, “the jury is still out”, and then, just a couple of months ago, said “Climate-crisis MIGHT be a problem.”
    The only reason this Admin. is suddenly touting Global Warming as the reason(it is the CAUSE), is that after-the-floods, they were still incompetent–much could’ve been done to help folks, sooner. But there’s few National Guard troops/service left over here in the U.S., as they’ve all been deployed–where else—to Iraq……

    Rain CAN be sooo comforting, and also, sooo depressing…
    How lovely, Selma, that you can appreciate the contradiction that. is. the. rain.

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  4. give me a tropical downpour anytime.. the slow pissing whiny rains in california just suck the life out of you… in my little corner of the world,, it is expected to have a suicide or two every winter…

    i have turned the tables on it,, and used it as a tool to free me to do nothing but read and write on the days it chooses to remain gloomy and wet… it has made the rains not only livable,, but looked forward to…..

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  5. The constant rain can be such a challenge, but it is also so renewing, and leaves so much green in its wake. And the sound of rain on windows I find so soothing and meditative – I can see why you will miss it, at least in part.

    Thanks for the wonderful post Selma – “Even when the clouds retreat, crystals of water remain, perfect as molten glass.” Is my favorite line – what a brilliant image.

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  6. RWHACKMAN – now there’s no need to show off about your extreme weather patterns. I think I would definitely go a little stir crazy with a month of snow and ice. Yeah, I know the Garbage song is all about being miserable and all emo and everything that goes along with it. But I can relate -know what I’m sayin’? It’s funny you should allude to ‘Sex and the City’ because friends and I were talking about it the other day. And I was bemoaning the fact that I had called my blog that because I didn’t want people to think I was talking about shoes and men ad infinitum. The funny thing is when I decided on the name of my blog I was listening to a song called ‘In The City’ by The Jam. The opening line is : “In the city there’s a thousand things I wanna say to you…” I love that line, I love that band, and the title just seemed to fall into place. so really, my title has nothing to do with ‘Sex and the City’ at all. but you know, occasionally I might talk about shoes just to keep people on their toes. πŸ˜‰

    LINDA – Hahahaha. πŸ˜€

    Now that is a bit too chilly for comfort. We’ve got it made in Sydney really. Bad me for complaining.

    LISA – I am surprised. I thought Bush might wait until the water was up to his knees before he admitted there was a problem. And the National Guard being deployed to Iraq? Don’t get me started. I really like the concept of rain as contradiction. That has really got me thinking. Oh no, I feel another post coming on…..

    MELEAH – Absolutely. A whole month of sun – right on! But a whole month of rain – bleh. XX

    PAISLEY – I can see how the rain would really dampen someone’s mood to the point of no return. It sort of closes you in, doesn’t it? What an excellent idea about using the bad weather as a time to write. I’m going to follow your lead and do that from now on. That is definitely turning a negative into a positive.

    KAYT – there is definitely a soothing aspect to the rain. I like how you refer to it as meditative. The sun is out this morning and I have to say it is a bit of a relief. Already the lizards are out and the willie wagtails are frolicking in the trees. How will I celebrate the return of the sunshine? There are three loads of laundry to do. LOL.

    JASON – walking outside just after it has rained is magical. There is a serenity and a sense of possibility. Love it!

    TRAVELRAT – well, they’ve lifted the water restrictions for the Sydney metro area. The dams are almost 70% full which is the best it’s been for years. But sadly, I don’t think the farmers got as much as they needed. We need someone to invent a rain redirection device.

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  7. Chalk up another thing we share Oh Kindred Blog-Spirit! πŸ˜‰

    I LOVE rain and I loved to read this beautiful piece. You have captured the magic of rain and rainy days, so perfectly. Your last paragraph was my fav, truly amazing.

    Bravo Selma. You’ve nailed it, again.

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  8. GERALDINE – are you sure we haven’t ever met? It does feel that way sometimes, doesn’t it? There is magic in the rain, a kind of purity. XX

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  9. GERALDINE – are you sure we haven’t ever met? It does feel that way sometimes, doesn’t it? There is magic in the rain, a kind of purity. XX

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  10. >>We need someone to invent a rain redirection device.<<

    They’ve got one! It’s called the Snowy Mountains Scheme! πŸ˜€

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  11. I’m glad to hear that the sun is back. It’s Saturday morning by me right now and unfortunately they are calling for intermittent rain for today and tomorrow. We’re getting ready to go to an outdoor party in a little while, and of course we’ll have company at our house tomorrow. Ahhh, summer….

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  12. JONAS – my pleasure. So glad you could stop by.

    LINDA – sounds like you’re going to be very busy. Do you drink Long Island Iced Tea? My son thinks everyone in the US drinks it at outdoor parties. I think he saw it on The Simpsons. LOL.

    GERALDINE – I have emailed you 3 times but it keeps coming back. I just tried again 5 minutes ago but alas, rejected once more. Can I just say I was so touched by your emails. THANK YOU!
    You are so kind to me.

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  13. No, we do not all drink Long Island Iced Tea at outdoor parties. I’ve never even had one. I like my libations, but that’s ALL alcohol. I’d be sleeping after just one. On that note, it’s beddy-bye time for me…zzzzzz.

    Maybe not. Somehow I went to a graduation party today and came home with a 7 week old puppy. He’s currently yap, yap, yapping in his cage…but he’s sooooo cute. I’ll post a blog about him and my other dog in the near future.

    Nighty-night.

    Linda~

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  14. LINDA – I’ll need tp tell my son it is not some kind of fancy soda with a cocktail umbrella but in fact, a SERIOUS drink. Hahaha.

    Awww, a new puppy. Can’t wait to hear about him.
    Have a good evening.

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  15. Hi Selma, That’s too bad about the email. The email address at MPP? First time someone has said it doesn’t work, go figure.

    The photo for this post never opened, btw. Is that just me having problems with this?

    Hugs again, G

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  16. GERALDINE – gremlins in the system? I’ll see if I can get to the bottom of it. Thanks for the emails, anyway. You are the best!

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  17. Well, in the UK we have pitiful weather when it comes to extremes. There aren’t any. But that certainly put me in the mood for rain, to feel what you did. You described the feelings so well – and the clouds are gathering above me where I am.
    I think I might burst into song πŸ™‚

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  18. There’s something so comforting about sitting inside, ensconced in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and dozing kitty, having a good read and listening to the rain.

    Yes, it gets old after several days, but still…

    I also love dashing outside when it is just pouring buckets of the stuff, getting soaked to the skin, feeling like I’ve stepped into a cold shower while wearing all my clothes (the neighbors would protest if I did otherwise). Getting caught in such a “frog strangler” when you’re not prepared is less than amusing, but at least you have something to brag about after you’ve dried off and warmed up, right?

    Lovely post.

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  19. ANTHONY – as long as you don’t start swinging from lamp-posts and tap dancing in puddles all will be well. My Mum’s favourite movie is ‘Singing In The Rain’ and I have seen it about 400 times. Great movie but I think I am experiencing overkill!

    KAREN – is all that running out into the rain fully clothed some American tradition we in the Southern Hemisphere don’t know about? If so, count me in……

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