Like types of clouds, there are lots of types of rain. Torrential, heavy, fine, regular, swirling, the sideways kind that soaks you through, the vertical kind that pounds you, the kind with fat exploding drops, the kind with fine droplets that sort of ooze, rain that rat-a-tats on a tin roof, rain that drip-drops from a tired gutter. And then there’s the very fine rain, like a mist, that in the Ardennes they refer to as “mousiner”, and which some of us might call, mizzle. This veil of rain is a blessing for gardens parched after the hot days of July. 

Every leaf, every flower, every tree seems to unfurl itself in welcome of the regenerative water. And we too, we are drawn in, and we’re off out picking blackberries, mirabelle plums or even a handful of the last redcurrants. The rain sticks to your poncho, your beflip-flopped feet delight in trampling the soil as it gulps down water. The roses exhale their perfumes, sweet or peppery, no two are alike. The earth seeps fragrance: grasses, fruits spoiling on the ground, wild fennel, bay trees, a gardener’s nose is under constant call. 

The full sun continues to nourish us, the clear sky opens up our spirits and the fiery sun nourishes our bodies. This rainy weather, which we know is essential to life, also reminds us of holidays, a time where we experience time without constraints. Wandering under the fruit trees becomes a sensual experience, a carnal intimacy between water and earth. It also conjures up playful childhood memories, recalling the joy of wading, splashing, laughing at the surprise of rain, of not caring less about shoes and clothes, a mere hindrance to the delight of rain streaming down our bodies. 

So when will the weather forecast stop seeing the rain as an outrage? When will the rain be finally rid of its reputation as “bad weather”? The rain is life. Let us rejoice like the swallows who shriek, turn and dive into tiny holes of welcoming walls; they have feasted on insects which have fed on the goodness of the rain, their young will be well. 

And if there is no rain, what becomes of the pleasure of watching the clouds slowly clear, what becomes of the wonder in feeling our retinas readjust to the amount of returning light? Because one thing is for sure, the sun will come back. The skies part, the revived nature is resplendent, let’s go for a walk; the meadow grass, the tall forests will welcome us in a delirium of scents that will exhilarate us.

Photo : Benoît Pelletier