“Don’t you like a rather foggy afternoon in a wood in autumn? You’ll find we shall be perfectly warm sitting in the car.”That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis
Jane said she’d never heard of anyone liking fogs before but she didn’t mind trying. All three got in.
“That’s why Camilla and I got married, “said Denniston as they drove off. “We both like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It’s a useful taste if one lives in England.”
“How ever did you learn to do that, Mr. Denniston?” said Jane. “I don’t think I should ever learn to like rain and snow.”
“It’s the other way round,” said Denniston. “Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children – and the dogs? They know what snow’s made for.”
“I’m sure I hated wet days as a child,” said Jane.
“That’s because the grown-ups kept you in,” said Camilla. “Any child loves rain if it’s allowed to go out and paddle about in it.”
I am guilty of complaining about the cold weather of the Midwest–ice storms, slushy snow, freezing temperatures–but if I’m honest, we don’t even have it that bad during the winter. Granted, it does get reasonably humid in the summer, but we hardly ever have 100+ degree days.
Something I have come to realize over the past few years, though, is the Beauty of Weather. Beauty… the undeniable, often indescribable, awe-inspiring quality of the natural world that begets intense wonder and Joy in the beholder’s affections.
Weather & Perception
We don’t merely find the landscape to be beautiful; our perception of it changes depending upon the weather. The land looks, feels, smells, tastes, and sounds different under various conditions.
Consider the dampness of the ground, the heaviness of moist air, the sweet smell of wet earth and foliage, the quiet twittering of birds, in the moments after a rainstorm.
Or, how about the mountains on a brilliant, sunny day, when the sky is clear of clouds, and you can see for miles in every direction? The world feels so vast, and you are reminded of your smallness, even insignificance, as well as your part and place in the grand scheme of life.
Recently, we have had several rainy days in the Midwest. One minute it would be raining buckets, the next you’d find sunrays shooting down from the sky, everything glistening and glowing in the light.
On a particular morning, I had to be at work at 6 am. Rain dropped steadily from the clouds in the pre-dawn darkness. Having parked, I sat in my chair for a few minutes, realizing that I didn’t have an umbrella with me.
I had to go inside, so I summoned up my courage and opened the door. Surprisingly, the rain lightened almost instantly; it began pouring down more heavily than before the moment I stepped through the doors into the building. Still, I was sufficiently damp.
But that brief ten minutes outside brought back a thousand Beautiful memories of childhood:
- Dancing and singing in the rain with my sisters, splashing in puddles
- Sitting on the front porch watching a storm roll in and feeling the change in temperature (the calm before the storm)
- Snuggling up and watching movies on rainy days, sleeping together during thunderstorms
- Hanging in the basement while the tornado sirens sounded
- Huddling on the floor of our popup camper during a lightning storm and watching a house burn down during another one…
The list goes on…
Therefore, I was intensely grateful for the rain, especially because I did get wet.
Is Weather Inconvenient?
I don’t believe that Weather is inconvenient, for the same reason that I don’t believe that the natural landscape is inconvenient.
Rain, in particular, presents a Beautiful symbol of life, of redemption and restoration, of mercy and grace, of healing and growth. In large amounts, rain can also wreak destruction and chaos, molding and shaping the earth on which it descends.
We could not survive without rain. The grass, the trees, the plants would all wither, shrivel, and turn to dust; animals would become shrunken, emaciated, and ultimately collapse with thirst; the ground would dry out and crack; the air would grow harsh, stale, and difficult to breathe. Without water, life as we know it would cease to exist.
“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.”John Updike
Rain brings LIFE…
Rain is an essential element of creation. The very presence of droughts reminds us of its necessity. And the existence of floods reveals the power and uncontrollability of nature.
We depend upon Weather. Our lives are intimately tied to the land, and we can never escape it, nor should we. That we are physical beings is something we should embrace and in which we should delight.
But that’s a topic for another conversation…
For now, let’s just appreciate the Beauty of rain.
If you have any favorite memories from childhood that have to do with rain, please tell us about them in the comments!
Thanks for reading!