I’m going to say something so controversial that I think some of you might never talk to me again. There will be rage, hurt, and maybe some tears. Strong emotions. Overwhelming? Perhaps, but just know that your feelings are valid. How you express these feelings might need some fine-tuning. Yell into a pillow and not at me. Silently call me an idiot instead of typing it in the comments. In other words, be kind and respectfully agree to disagree.
Also, I encourage you to resist the urge to throw your computer, tablet, or phone out of the window or over a steep embankment. I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t think watching who-done-its gives me any level of expertise. However, to cover my bases, here’s a disclaimer: Technology is expensive, and I will not be held liable for its replacement should you, out of an abundance of emotion, chuck out or at something or someone. Damaging it and rendering it useless is your own fault. Prudence, my friend, is the name of this dance.
Even if I borrowed it from a friend? Yes, not cool. It doesn’t matter who owns the thing, don’t discard that overpriced piece of tech in a moment of unbridled rage. Control yourself. Resist certain urges. It will pass. This moment is fleeting. My opinion, no matter how incomprehensible it may be, is not worth the loss of a device or friendship.
Do you think that disclaimer is legally binding? Yeah, I’m not sure either.
Brace yourself against a wall, the sofa, or a trusted loved one because what I’m about to say will knock the sandals off your feet. Summer is an overrated season and it should join the noble Porg bird-thing in the annuals of Star Wars lore. There, I said it and you know what? It feels good to say the words out loud.
Keeping them locked deep down in my bowls, afraid to let them out into the world, is a lie I can no longer live. It’s not good for my digestive system. I have to be true to who I am, and I hate summer. I’m tired of pretending that I like the smell of sunscreen because the sun is, allegedly, fun.
Before you say it, I don’t live in fear of that carcinogenic death ray. I live in abject abhorrence of it. The sun burns my pasty white skin and I turn bright red for just one day. One day of looking like an overripe tomato and then I develop this orange hue. I look like I slept in a tub full of a sweet, refreshing, beverage that’s commonly associated with breakfast.
Orange. I turn orange and then I peel. I’m a peeling orange! I don’t want to be a fruit of any kind. An itchy, peeling, fruit.
But hey, if you think a limping Cheeto is sexy then, I’m your girl.
Oh, then there’s the sweat! Oops, I mean a glistening glow because heaven forbid women sweat. Who came up with that rule? Sure, I don’t look like there’s a sprinkler system hidden in my hairline. Contrary to popular belief, I’m human which means that I have sweat glands or pores or whatever they’re called. I sweat. Water leaves my body in a fruitless attempt to cool me down. It never cools me down. It’s useless and now I’m hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. I have to take copious amounts of showers to make sure I don’t smell like a barn animal. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I shower because sweat makes me feel sticky and I can’t focus on anything when I feel sticky.
If you’re wondering why I won’t hold your baby, now you know. They’re probably sticky. Kidding! Somewhat. Mostly. You create cute people. Well done you.
I hate being hot, and the accompanying perspiration, but I love a good, snuggly, hoodie or sweater. Is there anything better than an oversized, wrap-around, melt into the sweet embrace of an over-worn hoodie? Or an oversized, wrap-around, melt into the sweet embrace of a sweater. The difference is subtle but I don’t care. I love them both and I will not be denied this simple pleasure.
Even if it makes me sticky?
Damn it, you see why I don’t like the hot summer months, don’t you? No? You’re a normal person who welcomes these months with the glee of a fifth-grader released from the scholastic quagmire known as school? Cool, I mean yay you. No more school, no more books, no more teachers giving inappropriate looks.
What? That’s not how that goes.
If you like summer, the smell of sunscreen, the feeling of the sun charring your skin and the sticky sensation of coagulating sweat? Well, I have nothing against you personally but I question your taste and, perhaps, sanity. No! I don’t, I’m not that self-absorbed. Good, enjoy what you enjoy as long as it’s legal and everyone is a consenting participant.
To each their own and since I like pineapple on pizza, who am I to judge your taste. Nope, I’m passing no judgements. I am shaking my head in confusion, but that’s a me problem. I don’t like summer, and I won’t apologize for it.
You know what I love? Besides sweaters, hoodies, and all things snuggly? Rain, and right now I’m listening to the joyous sound of raindrops pattering against the window behind my head. The wind is rustling the trees. I can’t see them, it’s behind me, but I know the leaves are floating to the ground in sweet surrender.
Glorious! Wonderful. This is what heaven will be like. A never-ending fall, autumn if you prefer, and I’m living for it. Well, if I’m in heaven, I won’t be living, per se. Existing? Inhabiting? Oo, that’s a game of Mental Twister. It’s like the physical game, Twister, only in the brain and it’s played with thoughts like, “Do we live in heaven if we got there by dying?”
It’s a thought that comes down to a single word choice and a dented can of semantics. After all, in the grand scheme of life, liberty, and the pursuit of non-perishable ideas; what does it matter? I certainly don’t think that if, should I be so fortunate, I ended up being welcomed into the Good Place that I’d ask for clarification on an abstract-noun, verb, thingy.
Grammar gives me a headache. I love to use it. I love to play with it. It’s a fun toy filled with catnip, but naming it always makes my eyes move in opposing directions. As if my eyes needed another reason to take separate vacations.
Maybe it’s my dyslexia or my ADHD? I have the focus and attention span of a border collie puppy after a shot of espresso. Oh, but don’t give your animals coffee. I’m not a vet, but I think that might be a bad idea. The zoomies are all fun and games until they run through a window and you’re stuck paying your neighbours’ repair bill. That’s not a personal anecdote, but I assume it’s possible. All things are possible when you’re writing the story.
The fact that I’m about to ask you what I was saying should prove my point. Which point? Uh…Focus! It proves I lack focus. Right, so what was I saying?
Ah, I’m a lover of rain, but not in a creepy way. I find joy, peace, and contentment under dark skies. Raindrops on just about any surface is hypnotic. The wind bellowing outside is soothing. Oh yes, my friend, call me a Pluviophile, if you like. I won’t be offended. There are worse ‘philes’ out there and this one is rather innocuous.
It might sound odd to some and peculiar to others. After all, dark grey skies and raindrops are often attributed to sadness or depression. They symbolize doom and gloom. In poetry and song, these images are used to convey heartbreak, loneliness, and tears.
Even in movies or tv shows, if you want to show that a character is struggling then you have them sit by a window peppered with rain. If you want to show them, down on their luck then you catch them in a sudden downpour. It’s an age-old trope that I’m sure we could date back to the ancient Roman or Greek playwrights because let’s face it, everything dates back to one of the two.
Have I been watching documentaries at 2 Am? You betcha.
When a weather warning pops up on my phone, I get excited. Rain, wind, and blistery forecast? Jackpot! I love a good strong wind. Nothing shakes the cobwebs out of my neurological attic like a gust of wind. Especially if it’s strong enough to knock the air out of my lungs. It’s exhilarating! I feel alive! I feel the full force of Zeus power through me and for a brief moment, I feel whole.
Oh, contented sigh.
Have you ever been caught in a mountain storm? Sudden and mighty. The clouds roll in — No! They rush in as if they’re an invading force on the backs of winged horses. They use the element of surprise to conquer and vanquish. The sky growls and opens its jaw. The downpour that follows overwhelms the senses and sends a shock of electricity down the spine.
Most run for cover. They scream or squeal. They cover their heads and use words that might not be suitable for young ears. It’s chaos.
Me? Well, I don’t run, and I’m not a noise-making kind of person. No judgement if you are. I’m more of an internal, silent, screamer. However, when it comes to a storm, I feel the need to laugh, not scream.
Years ago I was in Banff, up in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and one of these storms rolled in. It came in so fast, and there was no warning. A sunny day turned cloudy in seconds. Within minutes, every layer of clothing was drenched and dripping. There was no point running for cover. The damage had been down and the nearest covering was almost an hour away.
Most of the people I was with, were absolutely miserable, but I felt giddy. I looked up at the sky, and the rain pounded my face. I shivered from the cold and pure happiness. I opened my mouth and drank it all in. Arms stretched out to the side, I welcomed every second of that storm and I laughed with with all my heart.
Maybe this sounds too hippie-dippy but, I feel this deep connection with nature, with the earth, and with God. It’s even more profound when I’m standing out in a storm. The power, the majesty, of this cleansing breath, makes me feel grounded to the earth, and in something more spiritual.
I think that’s why I love the rain, and stormy weather, so much. I don’t feel grounded very often. The opposite is true. I usually feel like I’m floating aimlessly. But there’s something about the simplicity and power of a storm, that brings me back to earth. It serves a purpose. It’s rejuvenating and renewing our resources. It’s washing away a multitude of sins and, in that, there’s an invitation to start fresh.
Especially now, when the world is literally and figuratively on fire. The air is heavy. It’s hard to breathe. The storm that’s moving past my window is clearing some of that heaviness away. The air is lighter. It smells sweet. The grass is turning green, and the trees are shedding their old leaves which will, eventually, make room for new ones.
We’re literally and figuratively being given a chance to start fresh and clean. A new chance to right old wrongs? A chance to rebuild on stronger foundations? The storm can’t tell us what to do with the fresh canvas it’s given us. That choice is ours, and that means we’ve been given a little bit of hope.
Which is something I don’t feel when I’m a sticky limping Cheeto in the middle of summer.
Also, that moment when the eye of the storm moves overhead? The rain stops, the clouds part, and the sun peaks through. That moment, I love that so much. Standing outside and looking straight up at the sky. All around me, there are storm clouds waiting to break, but above me it’s bright blue. The allegory is a little too on the nose, but why complicate a simple moment?
Standing in the shadow of a mountain as the rain washes away what’s left of my crumbling, peat-soaked shoes…
Washed deep and clean by stream after stream…
Weeping away a day packed and overflowing with emotions as rain paints wild, noisy masterpieces on the window of my flat…
or the windscreen of a car I have just parked…
Standing in the path of a gazillion small wet stars as they rain down on me from billowy galaxies…
Watching the world come alive at the touch of a phantom ocean…
These have been moments that held me when it seemed nothing else would.
Sharing them now in celebration of your post.
Precious you are, if that doesn’t sound too Yoda.
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I’m not a fan of hot sticky days either & prefer the boots & sweater weather of fall. Loved this part of your post best: “The storm can’t tell us what to do with the fresh canvas it’s given us. That choice is ours, and that means we’ve been given a little bit of hope.”
The smell outside after the rain stops is a refreshing reminder that storms pass.
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