Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rain: Thursday's Reflection

If I lived in the United Kingdom would I be more inclined to walk 
in the rain? 

I recently read a charming book called Rain, Four Walks in English Weather by nature writer Melissa Harrison, and it occurred to me that I am almost totally unprepared for rainy walks. I do have umbrellas, but I don't even have a rain coat or jacket or rain boots. I dash and dart between rain showers. I scurry from the house to the car when there is a downpour, and I certainly don't go on a morning walk if it is raining, even lightly. 

Why is that?  

First thing in the morning, I checked the weather app on my phone to see the chances of rain at any given hour of the day. 7:00 am. 50%; 8:00 a.m. 30%. I decided to chance it, grabbed an umbrella, a full-sized one, instead of the mini I carry in my purse, and headed out the door a few minutes before 7. It turned out I was on the rainless side of the 50%, and I didn't need to open my umbrella or walk faster than my usual leisurely pace.  

Here's what Harrison says, 
            ...if you only ever go out on sunny days you only see
            half the picture, and remain somehow untested and
            callow; whereas discovering that you can withstand
            all the necessary and ordinary kinds of weather creates
            a satisfying feeling of equanimity in the face of life's
            vicissitudes that may or may not be rational, but is real

I haven't considered the character developing properties of rain, even though, as a Minnesotan, I know I am tougher and more resilient because of our extreme winters. At least that's what we claim here in the Midwest!

It is raining as I write this and I could grab my umbrella and go for another walk. Maybe instead I will do some online shopping for the proper gear. Or maybe I will just daydream about walking on a rainy day across the English moors. 

An Invitation
Are you a fair weather walker? Or are you made of tougher stuff? I would love to know. 

Note: A bonus in the Melissa Harrison book is her list of rainy words. My favorite is muzzle--a fine, misty rain. Here are some others: 
A blashy day--a wet day
Cow-quaker--a sudden storm in May, after the cows have been turned out to pasture
Dringey--the kind of light rain that still manages to get you soaking wet
Hurly-burly--thunder and lightning
Posh--a strong shower
Slobber--thin, cold rain, mixed with snow
Thunner-pash--a heavy shower with thunder

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