I love rainy days. I’m always more introspective when it rains and it makes me want to write. Rainy days are complex. Like snowflakes, no two rainy days are the same. They can be stormy, wind-driven howls from hell or sprinkly with tiny bits of water lightly landing on eyelids and cheeks or a steady soak, slaking a thirsty earth. Rainy days are the unpredictable girls, moods shifting from happy to enraged in the blink of an eye. Sunny days are the girl next door, constant in temperament, always with a smiling face.
When I was a child I lived for a short time in a trailer. My bedroom was at one end and my parents and baby sister’s was at the other. I loved my room, it was like my own little cocoon and I loved lying in the bed at night listening to the rain blink-blink-blink on the metal roof. I’d lie there and listen all cuddled up in a warm blanket and think about how the leaves on the trees would be shimmering with wetness and about small creatures foraging in the fallen leaves, their fur glistening as if studded with crystals. I’d think about the bird’s nest on the wall above my head and how it sheltered baby birds in a rain such as this before I found it empty one day on the ground. Listening to the rain in my safe, warm little bedroom made me feel peaceful and one with the natural world. Well, I always was a nature girl at heart.
I still like to listen to the rain and watch it fall outside my window. Now I live in the city but I still look for and find the wonder of nature in my backyard. The plants here are tropical like banana, gingers and bamboo instead of the hardwood trees of my childhood but much of the wildlife is the same. We have raccoon and opossum that come up at night foraging in the food the cats didn’t finish. Falcons often fly overhead and sometimes perch on the fence which makes me nervous for the cats.
There’s an abundance of insects in Louisiana and the spiders have been especially abundant for the past couple of summers. One, a golden silk aka banana spider, has taken up residence in my front window tending her zig-zag web and snaring errant insects attracted by the porch light. I let her stay because she’s fascinating to watch and has a place in the circle of life. The most unusual insect I’ve seen flew through my yard one day after Katrina. It was the most unusual insect I’ve ever seen, a combination of purple, fushcia and electric blue. It was so unexpected and striking I was literally dumb-struck when I saw it. I figured it must have been blown in from a swamp or some other exotic place because it was like nothing I could even imagine. Of course, I didn’t have a camera close by but it was gone as quickly as it arrived. Now it’s just a memory but it was a very welcome visitor at the time when most insects, birds and other creatures still hadn’t returned.
The day has melted into late afternoon. The breeze coming in the window is damp and cool and very fallish. It’s very quiet in the neighborhood with only the sounds of birds and rustling palm fronds and the occasional purr of a car passing. It’s so quiet that any half-way loud noise alerts the dogs who start barking. We call it the pin-drop syndrome; if a pin drops they’ll bark about it. Well, it’s snack time anyway. Tea and toast for me and Beggin’ Strips for the dogs. And maybe a movie – another thing I like to do on rainy days.
Have a great week-end.