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.]