Learning how to dance in the rain
I used to hate the rain. Now, I don’t just put up with it – I appreciate it.
For years, I associated rain with cold, grey, depressing, endless days. That’s probably because when I lived in Switzerland, from September through to April it was dark when I made my way to work around 8am, and it was dark again before I even left work, typically as of 4.30-5pm. In-between wasn’t sunshine and rainbows, but gloomy weather more often than not.
Then, when I lived in New York City, rain made things complicated. Buses and metros got even more crowded, no cabs were ever available, and the big puddles increased your chances of getting drenched from the bottom up too.
Now, everything is different.
Living on a farm in rural Portugal, rain means water means life. We worry when there isn’t enough rain, and we revel in it when it comes.
The rainy season brings with it cosy wood fires, time indoors to reflect on the past growing season, more comfort food (soups, stews, risottos), and mushroom hunting. Outdoors, while the leaves on the trees turn golden and red, the grass goes from burnt yellow back to verdant green, with new shoots popping up full of life.
My two reasons to embrace the rain
That renewal, the sense of nature taking a deep breathe, and knowing that every inch of rain contributes to refilling underground stores essential for the warmer months is one of the big things that allowed me to change my perception of rain.
Living closer to nature – by living in a tiny house, on a farm, having animals, and spending more time outdoors year-round – has given me a whole new appreciation of the seasons. Fall and winter are no longer periods I just need to get through, but opportunities to slow down and take stock, go inward and renew ties to local friends and the community. Spring and summer are the growing season as well as a more festive time for visitors and tourism.
The second reason I have come to appreciate rain will seem trivial, but it is as pivotal as the first: I finally have the right accessories!
Before, going to work in the rain was inconvenient. I had a raincoat, but my footwear was never quite right – or it was, and I had to have another set of shoes to change into when I got to work. I always found umbrellas convenient yet cumbersome, doling out the very wetness they saved you from as soon as you brought them indoors.
Now, I have rain boots I can wear to my heart’s content – they are easy to slip on and off, and have an extra inner sole for comfort. I also have a felt hat that has changed my life. No more need for umbrellas, no more irritating rain drops hitting my head or face and leaving a trail of cold wetness along their path as they succumb to gravity.
As a bonus, my hat is stylish. Which means that instead of feeling like a wet rat, rain now makes me feel ready to take on the world.
I admit, I am still a rain-embracing newbie. I’ve gone out for walks and mushroom hunting expeditions in cold and rainy weather and enjoyed it, but my default when the skies open up is to snuggle up with a good book.
My husband, on the other hand, is weatherproof. He will gear up and go build a fence or whatever else needs doing, rain or shine. He’s an inspiration, and that level of embracing the rain is still an aspiration for me.
But… between my husband and our fearless animals – the dogs and birds and donkeys (cats and goats are in my corner), I see the potential. So, I’ll keep working on it until one day, I’m ok dancing in the rain.
My mother loved old movies, and Singing in the Rain was one of her favorites. Gene Kelly is dancing and singing, but – check out that felt hat! (And yes, tapdancing is another one of the many things I’d love to learn / get back to one day). #Lifegoals