I'm a western girl. We don't get much rain. Total precipitation amounts to about 16 inches per year in my city, but a large part of that comes from snow. When it comes, my sisters and I used to go out and play in it, celebrating the miraculous occurrence of water falling from the sky. (In the summer we do, anyway. In early spring and late fall, it's too cold.)
I'm going to college in the South, in a place that could be described as semi-tropical zone. There is A LOT of rain there; usually around 54 inches every year. When I first arrived, I kept being astonished at the frequency of the rain. It would rain, and then a few days later, it would rain again! Sometimes, it has been known to rain more than three inches in one day, which is a mind-boggling number to people at home.
In many ways, I am glad that it rains so much here. The rain has often helped to ease the stress of college. It is somehow much easier to focus on homework when it is gray and drizzling outside, and you are inside curled up under a blanket, maybe with hot chocolate.
I have a love/hate relationship with the cold, hard rain that comes in the late fall. That rain is just miserable to be out in, but it somehow makes curling up inside even better. It sounds cooler too, because the driving rain is so much more forceful and makes a much louder sound that the soft rain does.
I do love the rain that falls in the late summer. It seems to have an equal chance of falling softly or of being a hard driving rain. With the driving summer rain comes lightning and thunder. Like many other children, thunder scared me when I was little. But as I have grown older, I have come to enjoy the thunder. Mom says that when she was growing up, thunder always reminded her of the power of God. I heard her say it so many times that that's what I see now too.
Mom also taught me how to tell how far away the lightning is. When you see the lightning, you start counting. For every five seconds that passes until the thunder reaches you, the lightning is one mile away. That helped to calm me as a child, to know that even though the thunder was so loud, the lighting was actually far away.
Even now, after I have come to love the lightning and thunder, I count from force of habit. It always disappoints me when the lightning is too far away to hear the thunder, especially when it was a very large flash of lightning. My favorites are the peals of thunder that are so loud that they almost take your breath away.
My favorite rain though, is the soft, gentle rain that falls during the late spring and early summer. This is the best rain to go outside in, because the air stays warm. You can stand outside and let the gentle drizzle fall over you, and you don't even care that you're wet, because it rain feels so good. And after the rain ended, my sisters and I would stand under the trees and shake the branches, and we got another shower.
Rain has a lot of good memories for me. I love to sit and hear it, and I love to go out and play in it. Obviously I don't have my sisters to play with while I'm halfway across the country, but I go out by myself and dance, spinning and jumping and splashing in the occasional puddle.
Now that I have been in the South for three years, it no longer surprises me how much it rains. I have grown used to that part. But the rain has never lost its wonder, and I pray that it never will. It will be a sad day when I no longer care to go out and dance in the rain.