Thursday, 19 February 2015

Rainy Day Contemplation …

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I walked in the rain – on purpose  – I got wet (well, dampish) – on purpose.  I listened to the rain pit-pat on my umbrella.  I heard the sound of trees dripping and searched for their reflection in puddles.  I smelled the scent of the wet earth.*  I was alone on my walk – not another soul around; they were hiding indoors, afraid of getting wet; not me, I found it liberating – I enjoyed the singing of the birds which seemed louder than usual and their song echoed around me till I couldn’t guess which tree they were calling from.  It was a revelation; being aware and going with the weather instead of fighting against it.  The urge to make a dash for it was quashed – I didn’t exactly dance in the rain but could have had the mood taken me.

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The next day the sun returned and I bought yellow tulips to celebrate.

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On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”
Mark Haddon

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Your body is drip-dry. You are not made of sugar and you won't melt in the rain. Most of us had concerned mothers who wouldn't let us step outside without being swathed in all manner of rain gear, and thought we would surely die if we got wet. You won't. Trust me. There is no reason to stop walking just because the rainy season has arrived. Whether it is April showers or autumn drizzle, you can boldly walk among the raindrops and survive.

via Health Matters

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“The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.”
Douglas Coupland

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“Halfway home, the sky goes from dark grey to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. […] Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad.
Antwone Quenton Fisher

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“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”
Roger Miller

And, of course, a lovely day ends in a beautiful sunset.

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So there we have it -  my contemplation of a rainy day in February.  We have had hardly any rain where I live this winter, so I thought it deserved special mention.  Of course my view could well change if it rains all summer – but we won’t think about that just yet.

*Did you know there is a word for the scent of the earth after rain – Petrichor – invented by two Australian scientists in 1964 studying the smells of wet weather.

Footnote:  After walking in the rain and working in the garden in a cold wind I seem to have caught a chill – so much for going out in all weathers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

66 comments:

  1. Oh dear Elaine, I hope that you are feeling better again soon! I love your homage to rain. Yesterday it was bright sun and I should have taken lots of pictures, but I didn't and today it is raining and grey, but you have inspired me to embrace it and go out into the rain and get some pictures - briefly so that my camera doesn't get too wet! I will embrace the rain! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy.When I went out in the rain I didn't take my camera with me - now I wish that I had, but hey I'm sure it will rain again before too long.

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  2. I love the quote in your first photo and the bright yellow tulips too so cheerful. It is raining here today so I haven't been out but done the ironing instead - not very adventurous but necessary I suppose. The song 'Walking in the Rain' came into my head as I read your words. I may just don that raincoat and get out there later on. I hope your chill passes soon:)

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    1. It's always a temptation to stay in when it's raining, but now and then it's nice to go out in it. Lots of songs entered my head whilst I was writing this post - Singing in the Rain, Crying in the Rain, Early Morning Rain etc. but by the time I had finished I forgot all about them.

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  3. I thought that it was marvellous the way you embraced the rain - not so keen myself, but I do appreciate that we should not waste any moments that come our way - life is too short. The chill, not so good, and hope that you are soon over it.

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    1. I don't do it all that often but really enjoyed it - so catching a chill was worth it - this time!

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  4. I totally embrace the rain. I love to walk in it, splash in the puddles and then go inside and cosy up feeling happy with myself that I have done what most people complain about. As I sit here now, the rain is lashing at the windows with the added wind... maybe I won't go too far today. Keep warm and hopefully your chill will pass x

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    1. It does kind of bring the child out in you I agree. I love to see children deliberately splashing in puddles and think we should try to be more like them, enjoying every moment.

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  5. Hello Elaine,

    Your post reminded us of times, many of them, when we have managed to get ourselves so soaked by rain that we just carried on regardless. Usually, we have to say, followed by coughs and colds. But, it was good fun whilst it lasted and, like you, one does get to the point of being so wet that thoughts of Gene Kelly immediately spring to mind and dancing is the natural thing to do!

    Whatever, Nature in all its seasons and moods is to be savoured......

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance
      With the vagaries of the English weather you never quite know when you will get caught out - it can be fun - it all depends on how you view it - perhaps a positive attitude is necessary to enjoy whatever the weather throws at us.

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  6. as someone so rightly once said, 'there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing' (or something like that). A lovely contemplative post - I hope you feel better soon.

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    1. Thanks Ann. As long as I have an umbrella I'm happy. I'm sneezing for England at the moment, hopefully it will be gone in a couple of days (she says with fingers crossed).

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  7. Love your tribute to the rain. I´m going out in all kind of weather, love rain, cold and warm sunshine. The fun is that we have such a changeable weather, never a dull moment, haha.
    Hope you are feeling better soon!

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    1. When you have a dog to walk then going out in all weathers is part of life. You're right, as far as the weather is concerned, there is never a dull moment.

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  8. A delightful post, and lovely pictures. I hope that you feel better soon. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. I am a bit feverish but I am sure I will survive.

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  9. We are all-weather walkers here. When my son was little we had a rain dance we did when it rained- we'd run down to the bottom of the garden, twirl round three times and then run back again. I am quite sure our neighbours thought we were mad but we had fun! Hope the chill eases. Some more fresh air'll be sure to shift it! x

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    1. A few sniffles and sneezes won't stop me getting out and about that's for sure. I must remember to do a rain dance next time it rains.

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  10. I have stayed in the rain in summer. Clothes dripping, hair dripping and raindrops on the end of my nose. Then as the sun came out combing my hair dry but not in winter. Maybe after your outcome that was wise.

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    1. A summer rain storm is lovely when it cools everything down and sometimes comes as a relief - in winter, yes, it is a different matter - but I'm still glad I did it.

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  11. I remember once planting a very large shrub shortly after we arrived here. Just as I'd dug the huge hole and wrestled it out of the pot the heavens opened. I carried on and after a while realised that I wasn't noticing the rain anymore, at least I wasn't getting any wetter! Didn't half make me feel I'd accomplished something.
    Get well soon.

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    1. And it saved you having to water the shrub in as well.

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  12. I love walking in the rain, and strangely, or maybe not strangely, so does my mum!

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    1. Not many people I know go out in the rain unless they absolutely have to - they don't know what they're missing.

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  13. Ah yes the beautiful rain where the droplets gather into puddles and one can pretend to be a child again and splash along the pathway.
    I love the rain. When my yellow lab was still alive it was the raining day walks we loved the most. Out there just the two of us along the waters edge, waves crashing along the shore. A companionship like no other.
    The flowers are beautiful too.
    Do take care and keep warm. A hot water bottle might help at least that's what my Gramma always said.
    Thanks Elaine for inspiring my memory on this frigid and blustery day.
    Susan x

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    1. Dogs don't seem to mind going out whatever the weather - seize the day is what I say, and enjoy every bit of it. Thanks you for your concern - I will be fine in a few days I expect.

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  14. Sorry to hear you've caught a chill....there is a lot of it about, I've had flu for over a month now, I was just getting over it when hubs came home and gave me another dose.
    Petrichor eh? Never heard of that before, what a fab word! The things you learn.
    It's good to go out in the rain on purpose, I suppose it's more about our clothing than the weather....no bad weather just bad clothing....how fun that you almost danced in the rain! Lol....maybe next time! I just LOVE the sound of heavy rain, especially at night, utterly hypnotic it is, it was especially loud on the roof of the narrowboat we had.....magical that was.
    The tulips and primula are gorgeous, I I love the pic of the brooding skies, how atmospheric! A fab post, as always!xxx

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    1. Thanks Dina. This is the third cold I have had this winter, what's going on! I was listening to the rain on the windows tonight, now the weather has changed it doesn't seem to want to stop. I remember camping and listening to it beating down on the tent and you had to be careful not to touch the sides of the tent or it would all soak through.

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  15. How lovely the way you have talked about rain, it has made me think about it. Sometimes I like to listen to the rain imagining all those raindrops together cleaning all on its way and then I love letting go all my worries stuck on my cells and being cleaned by those pure and wonderful raindrops.
    The photos are beautiful too :)

    Lluisa xoxo

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    1. Thanks Lluisa. I think we take rain for granted here in the UK because we get so much of it but where would we be without it, although like last year with all the flooding, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

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  16. Like you, I try to appreciate weather in all its forms, not always with success. We have very few days when 'weather' stops us from going about our normal duties..... the worst I suppose being deep snow, but we haven't had any this year.

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    1. I agree, sometimes the weather does beat me but I haven't succumbed to SAD this year which is a first - it seems my positive outlook is working (with a little help from the plethora of bright days we have had).

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  17. Dear Elaine,
    beautiful photos (I love the raindrops on the leaves!) and fascinating quotes!
    Coming from Bremen ( = English weather) I love rain (in moderation). And as for going out when most people remain inside: wonderful! (Hope your cold was only a slight one). When son was as school-reporter in Portland he was astounded that people went out on a clouded day without an umbrella. "But if it rains", he asked, "what will you do?" "We just walk and get wet", was the answer.

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    1. Why we humans are frightened of getting wet is a mystery to me - it is probably something ingrained from our parents - but as I get older I seem to want to experience everything as it comes along.

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  18. I have fallen behind in commenting, so I hope you find this. For the kid in me, add bare feet and a muddpuddle or two.

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    1. I rarely go barefoot outdoors - perhaps that is another one to experience - walking barefoot on a dew-soaked lawn perhaps.

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  19. Lovely post, this month I too have been trying not to wish the time away to spring, but enjoy every moment, even the cold and the wet. Having a dog helps as you have to go out what ever the weather.
    Amanda xx

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    1. I agree, there are no excuses not go out when you have a dog to walk - but as I don't have a dog any more I have to push myself to go out every day whether I want to or not - and most of the time I'm glad I did.

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  20. I especially love that first quote! It's so true. All your pictures are wonderful and if it's not too cold and windy out I also love going for walks in the rain and just enjoy the feeling and the smell of it. I had no idea there was an actual word for it!
    I hope your cold is not too bad. Get well soon!
    And have an amazing weekend :)

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    1. Thanks Beate. I am trying to experience going out in all kinds of weather - just for the experience - and so far I have enjoyed everyone. The cold isn't a bad one and hopefully will soon be over. Enjoy the rest of the weekend yourself.

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  21. That quote is absolutely amazing! I LOVE rain. It truly is soul-cleansing. I enjoy the rain more than most people enjoy the sun :)

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    1. Love your positive attitude Keith.

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  22. A walk in the rain in the countryside, not everyone’s cup of tea but it can be a great experience if you are prepared; beside there is always a hot shower and a change of clothes at home if they are needed. Petrichor, I know that smell; what I did not know was the existence of a specific word for it.
    You are full of information, Elaine.
    Ms Soup

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    1. Thanks Ms Soup - I have been over to your blog but there don't seem to be any posts to leave a comment on.

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  23. How beautiful that you danced in the rain and soaked it all in! I love quiet moments like this in life where time stops and you just breath it in! Your photos are so gorgeous Elaine.....wishing you a warm and happy weekend! Nicole xo

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    1. Thanks Nicole. Not rushing to get out of the rain was a new experience for me - an enjoyable one at that. Enjoy your weekend too.

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  24. Dear Elaine, I have enjoyed this post so much, your lovely photos and imagining you out there braving the weather and enjoying it! But now I'm worried about that chill you caught....are you going OK now? By the way, I really love the smooth look of your blog....you have moved all the 'stuff' down below the post. Would you mind if I borrowed your idea, and try that out with mine? Thank you for sticking with me when I ebb and flow...your support is appreciated :) Jane

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    1. Thanks Jane. Feel free to use the same layout - it's not exclusive :) I always look forward to your posts - even if they are few and far between.

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  25. DEAREST ELAINE - LOVED GOING WITH YOU IN THE RAIN. I COULD USE A BIT OF IT HERE INSTEAD OF SNOW !! YOUR PHOTOS ARE FABULOUS AND THOSE PRIMROSES ARE MELTING MY WINTER'S HEART. NOW TAKE CARE AND GET OVER YOUR CHILL QUICK!

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    1. Dear Debbie,
      So glad you enjoyed the post. The primroses are cheering up the kitchen right now as the days have been quite grey and rainy. Do you still have snow? Hopefully spring is just around the corner for you too. The cold isn't a bad one, I will be a right as rain in no time.

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  26. Sometimes a walk in the rain can be inspiring - as can that lovely sunset photo, thanks.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Absolutely. Thanks for visiting Jan.

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  27. Loved this post, especially the quote about our mothers never letting us out in the rain without all manner of rain gear. We are programmed to think rain is bad but like you, I have found walks in the rain to be incredibly refreshing. Once you get over the getting wet part it's all quite fun.

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    1. Thanks Marguerite. Summer rain is delightful - winter rain not so much - but I feel the need to be out in it anyway. I enjoyed that quote too.

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  28. What an absolutely lovely post. I like the rain too but try and make my dog walk it, hahaha.

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    1. Thank you Carrie - and thanks for visiting.

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  29. Sigh. Those raindrops on leaves look so refreshing. Hope your cold isn't too long lasting!

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    1. I know your rain showers are few and far between but we have more than our fair share at the moment so plenty of opportunity of taking raindrop photos! The cold is almost gone thank goodness.

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  30. I love the rain Elaine ……. as long as I'm not going anywhere in particular, I like getting wet too !!
    …… perhaps I'm odd !!
    Beautiful photographs as always. XXXX

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    1. I agree about the bit - as long as I'm not going anywhere - as soon as my hair gets anywhere near water it goes into weird mode. No, you're definitely not odd.

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  31. Sorry you have got a chill after your walk in the rain. It sounded so lovely too! We went to a talk this afternoon by a professional photographer who told us the best time to photograph woods was in the rain. I shall have to try it sometime! Sarah x

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    1. That sounds like a good idea Sarah - unfortunately we don't have a proper wood near us but there is a copse that I could take a few photos in - I will investigate. As for the cold - it was sort of a mini-one and has almost gone, thank goodness.

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  32. From one pluviophile to another ... gorgeous post! I love walking in the rain, except when it is really windy and cold, that's just miserable.

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  33. Thanks Annie. I wish I had thought of the word pluviophile to put into the post. Yes definitely not as pleasant in the cold and wind but hey you just have to go with the flow.

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  34. Your photos of the rain and its aftermath are gorgeous - as are your brightening blooms. We never get rain in the winter at high altitude - it's always snow. Sometimes, it changes to rain in late April, but often it snows through May.

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    1. Thanks Barb. How different your weather is to ours - I'm not sure I could cope with snow right through till May. Come March the weather starts improving and I am thankful for it.

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