When it rains all day I feel like my senses need to be reset. Usually when I’m working at my desk, the window to my left is wide open and I hear, dozens of times an hour, the wings of hummingbirds coming to sip from the feeder. If the day’s breezy, leaves from the maple and locust and cherry trees rustle, and in the background I’ll note the irregular punctuation of bird song and an occasional car. Most of that is blocked out with steady rain. All I’ve heard for the last few hours is rain hitting various surfaces – the sturdy leaves of the hosta below my window; the stones of the rockwalls in the yard; the wooden slats of the deck; the rooftop shingles. Every once in a while I catch the buzz of the hummers’ wings… but most of the customary sounds are gone, replaced by thousands of drops meeting dozens of obstacles. The raindrops that hit grass in the yard or the fresh dirt of the new flower garden are soundless from indoors. But they make everything shine. As the leaves and flowers become saturated, their colors appear more vibrant.
I look up from the keyboard after that last line and see that I have to adjust my perception. The clouds have grown so gray that any brightening highlights on the ground are diminished. It looks more like 8 in the evening than 10 in the morning. The world is dark and wet and cold, and although it puts a literal damper on any outdoor activities for us humans, the steady rhythm of rain is a joy.