Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Embracing the Rain

Late at night
I drift away
I can hear you calling,
and my name
is in the rain,
leaves on trees whispering,
deep blue sea's mysteries. - Enya It's in the Rain
Who can resist the call of the wind and rain?
As I have written before, I feel a wildness within me in moments of elemental potency. In a previous blogpost "Singing into the Wind", I spoke of the intensity and grandeur of the wind, and my urge to add my melody to its eternal song.  Last night the wind called me again - but this time its beguiling song was more tempestuous, with a martial rhythm provided by the primal drumming of the rain. How could I not go out and commune with it once more?

This time the hour was late - or rather early - 2am and I had not slept for eighteen hours. The rest of the house was utterly dark - my entire family slumbering peacefully. To them the sound of the rain was soothing; a lullaby. Not so for me. Despite the hour - the weather invigorated me and set my heart pounding. 

A rain-drenched, roofed balcony, similar to my own except mine stands alone save for a tree beside it... 

My bedroom has two doors - the first a portal to the rest of my safe and carpeted home. The second (less used but more romantic) opens onto a roofed balcony overlooking the harbour. Barefoot and wearing a sleeveless summer dress, I closed the one and stepped out of the other - onto the wooden floor of the balcony, now glassed by the rain to become a mirror of the sky.

Instantly I was caught in the soft, coiling embrace of the wind. I was surprised to discover it felt almost warm, despite the storm. The lancing drops of rain blown into the balcony however felt chill against my arms and back. Within seconds I felt my dress grow heavy with moisture, and briefly worried about it becoming soaked if I did not go back indoors immediately. Then I laughed. Throwing my arms wide to the wind and rain, I walked forward to the edge of the balcony and rejoiced in letting myself get drenched and buffeted by the storm.

I fling my arms out to the rain...
In the midst of my joy, a small part of myself questioned what I had done. Am I going to regret  this? I could catch a cold. I could get my bed wet if my hair stays like this and then it might get moldy. If I get wet I might not be able to sleep at all tonight and then won't function tomorrow... What am I doing really? What's the reward? A part of me feared: Have I been a fool?

My elated, couragous self laughed again and replied: This is my life and this is who I am: a mortal being who responds to the call of the storm and acts upon it - a woman unafraid to join the wind in song - a woman who embraces the rain. The timid voice was silenced. I smiled fiercely.

Storm Witch by merriya on Deviantart
Suddenly I felt like a weather witch. Leaning out on the balcony railing I smelled the magical, elusive scent of petrichor. Within moments I was gauntleted by the rain. In my hands I held a notebook - for I knew this would be a time of many thoughts and strange feelings - spells that could be quickly caught and written down. My pencil was my witch-wand, and I wielded it sightlessly (for there was not enough light to read my words) on paper that became quickly bubbled with the rain.

A hazy harbour in the mist and rain.

Water roared from the gutters and all the windows were rattled by the wind. Beyond the balcony the air was mist-laden and further curtained with rain. Everytthing was partially obscured by the haze of moisture - which strangely dimmed all lights while making the darkness less dense and more nebulous.

At times like these, the borders of reality become blurred...
I felt like I stood at the merging of reality and possibility - the "otherlands" I dream of seemed at once almost close enough to touch. My head was light and my thoughts swirled as though taken by the wind, out onto the bay. Out there - water and air became indistinguishable and the far-lights of the towns across the harbour seemed to float like hazy stars in a grey sky, or a faery shore unreachable by mortal boat... 

The shores of Valinor, Ultima Thule or the island at the world's end? 

I don't know how long I stood there on the balcony. Inevitably I knew I must return to my room and sleep like the rest of the city, enveloped by the rain. But I wished I could do more - to wander free all night and alone in the wet streets, until every part on me was drenched in glorious rain...

When I did go back inside I sat for a while beside my window. On dry nights I sometimes keep it open, and the wind enters my room and haunts my dreams. But tonight the humidity would ruin the paint and breed mold on my shoes and clothes. So the window was shut and so I sat behind the barred leadlight glass, and the wind battered vainly against the panes. I felt a bit bereft.

But I looked down at myself and saw the sheen of water on my skin, and laid my notebook with my slippery pencil on my darkened desk. Although I had left the storm outside - I carried some of it with me, on my skin and in my book in the form of words imperishable. And part of my spirit - my wild and gleeful spirit - remains outside, cavorting in the wind and rain. 

Slowly I changed out of my wet dress into pyjamas - but I did not dry my skin completely. In the depths of the night I lay in bed and yet - my spirit wandered with the wind on waves lanced by the rain -  towards the lights glimmering faintly on the unseen shore.

Communing with the rain and wind...

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