It’s been a rainy spring and a stormy June, but Otis and I can’t bring ourselves to complain.
I could tell you it’s because I’m a garden person that I’ve always loved rainy days, of all kinds: the dramatic ones, with ominous green-gray skies, rolling thunder, gusts that bend stately branches into a wild dance, and sheets of rain; the all-day misty drizzle; showers intermittent with occasional columns of sunshine steaming the streets.
But I was once a full-time flight instructor, and I loved rain even then–when we measured inclement weather by a hierarchy of jargon that warned us to stay home by degree: airmet, sigmet, convective sigmet. A rainy, overcast day thrilled me even then, although it signaled a more difficult workday, flying “blind,” by reference to instruments alone. And a stormy day meant picking our way through a maze of cumulonimbus clouds and storm cells, on the advice of some omniscient air traffic controller in a dark, cavelike room somewhere, guiding our tiny electronic blip through a labyrinthine red and yellow radar maze. Or better yet, it meant calling it a day, postponing the journey home, and staying safe and dry in a distant airport. Most often, it meant a day without income.
Nope, rain’s just in my nature, for some reason, and the fact that it’s greening up the place is just a side benefit. Does liking gloomy days mean I’m a depressive, or a perverse secret pessimist of some kind? Or is it just that they give me an excuse to hole up in the afternoon with a book or a movie, no bullying sun to pressure me to ‘get out there and get some exercise’?
Maybe it’s a sign of laziness. Rain signals a respite, in a general sense, and for the lazy gardener, it means no watering will be necessary, for a couple of days, at least. The skies are doing the heavy lifting, and a good book is calling. I imagine there are many thousands of real gardeners out there who view rain as a necessary evil, as they would much prefer to rise at dawn, pull on some gloves, and shove a trowel into the ground with focus and energy.
Not me. Dawn with rain drumming on the roof is one of my greatest joys; it signals me to roll over and snuggle up to Hal and to Otis the Cat for another few hours and to feel no guilt about it. And while I do enjoy the Zen of digging in the earth, getting my hands dirty, etc. etc. I can’t truly say I’d rather be working in the garden than enjoying it. Let’s see, weeding and digging holes vs. coffee and a crossword amid the greenery. Hm. Tough choice.
So unless a backyard barbecue or winefest in the garden gets rained out, I’m all for gray skies and a gentle patter on a tin roof, lulling me to sleep, my fat book sliding to the floor. Otis the Cat is with me on this one. She’s curled up beside me, never missing a chance to take a break.