The Rain is Music to Those Who Listen

evergreen branch in a dark forest covered in raindrops
evergreen branch in a dark forest covered in raindrops

Photo by Jonathan Klok on Unsplash

As I write this, I am listening to the rainfall.

Like the drops falling, my mind is feeling lyrical.

Glorious drops, falling from the sky, dancing musically as their reach their earthly collision. Some sound loud and deep, like a bass line, creating the overall rhythm, hitting the roof above me. Some are sharp and light, as the drops fall on stone or a piece of metal garden art. Some are practically silent, audible only to the spirits high in the sky, as the drops softly slide down the blades of grass, channeled to the soil to be greeted with a welcoming embrace.

As I put these words to paper with my pencil, I am in the sunroom. Later, I type these words while sitting on my couch. Still, hearing the rainfall.

The sunroom is a fanciful name for essentially a styrofoam box with windows. It was probably constructed a few years prior to the purchase of our home, and is connected to the back of the house, built atop a deck. The back door empties into this space, creating almost an air-lock style chamber, a second door required to be opened to go into the back garden.

We use this space mainly for storage, lacking a garage; the deep freezers, shelves for my countless mason jars, a few boxes we don’t know where to put, the rarely-used but still needed kitchen gadgets like the juicer. With styrofoam walls, a metal frame, and a thin resin roof, the space is freezing in the winter and an oven in the summer. But with large glass doors making up a wall, and windows on two other sides, it has the best light. I also use the space a great place for photography and to use as a place to write.

And when it’s raining, it’s one of my favorite places to be. The closest I can be without actually being in the rain. Like a walled umbrella.

Isn’t it amazing how the weather can so alter our emotions, our mood? When I woke up today, warm in bed under my feather comforter and linen duvet, a cat curled up leaning against my leg, I awoke to this music being played by the sky.

This wasn’t one of those scattered showers, where a few drops will fall, teasing you like a dangling candy in front of a child’s nose. It was a steady stream of beats, a symphony.

And my heart swelled and sung along, my soul feeling refreshed and light.

I love the rain. And particularly now, as our climate is changing, I crave the rain. On what seems to be the endless sunny days that make up our winters here in California, I feel a tension. Like the earth, and perhaps also my soul, is holding her breath. Waiting. Waiting. And finally, as the water comes and soaks her soils, we breathe a sigh of relief.

And we rejoice.


With our climate changing, we often hear about the uncertain future of rising sea levels. I personally have not seen those changes happening in my lifetime. But I have seen the patterns of the rain change.

I grew up in an area of California that, on average, received more rain than some other parts of the state. But even in “dry years”, I remember most of the winter months consisted of regular rain storms.

Recesses were always canceled, instead, Februarys consisted of one long game of Heads-up-7-up. Countless books were read while sitting in front of our woodstove, piles of wet clothes and rainboots piled aside, drying from the heat.

Big storms meant I got to stay home from school, always a concern that our dirt road would slide and mom wouldn’t be able to get down the hill to pick me up from school, essentially leaving me stranded.

Phone calls late in the night punctuated the dark hours: requests for my dad to come clear fallen trees, laying across the road, tipped over from their own weight and lifted out of oversaturated soils. I would fall asleep to rain on my dormer roof, and would awake in the early morning to the rushing sound of the creek, swollen from the downpours.

I would wear my rubber knee-high riding boots to school, allowing me to walk through even the deepest of puddles and preventing my legs from getting wet as I walked under an umbrella.

Those days are now few and far between for California. It comes all at once, or it doesn’t come at all

I have heard of people who don’t enjoy the rain because it makes them sad. Perhaps, deep down, they know it’s because it’s a dying breed. Endangered. Like the spotted salamander, hiding under rotting logs deep in the forest. The red fox, slinking between the granite boulders. The snowy plover, nestled in a bed made of sand.  

How will we live in a land without rain? Not only for drinking and water and all the practical things, but to keep our souls singing?

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    January 28, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    I’ve definitely noticed the last few years up here have also been less rainy. I used to dread the January – Spring Break time which seemed so endless to my grade school self. In the coastal city I lived in it seemed never ending (and often it continued well after Spring Break, that just seemed happier to me since it meant Vacation time)! I’ve since moved to the city with the least precipitation in our whole country, so the perspective is a little different, but even following the weather back where my family lives it is so much drier. We had our worst wildfire season on record last summer. I’m hoping that was a bit of an extreme outlier, since it was all way too close for comfort in such a dry place. It will be interesting to see what the next few years bring.

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