Sometimes there is no better metaphor for a period in one’s life than rain. There’s the spring shower, where it’s grey for a day and everything blooms come the next. There’s the summer thunderstorm, which is often dark, loud, and scary. It seems to last forever, stretching deep into the night and keeping you awake, hiding under your covers. There’s the autumn rain, where there’s wind stripping the trees of their bright, colorful leaves and giving arid farmlands a sigh of relief until harvesting ends. And further, there’s the wintry rain, sometimes frozen, hammering on the roofs of homes and offices, shattering on windshields and pelting pedestrians; and when the rain stops, the path can be treacherous, well into the following days and weeks.
There is beauty in rain that no other weather has. There are so many conditions that can coalesce into something beautiful, or into an absolute terror.
In the late summer, each raindrop that falls onto the parking lot evaporates from the absorbed heat of the asphalt. The sweet vapors flow through your nose, giving a subtle nudge to your brain to recognize how amazing its natural talent of cleaning the air of its impurities and pollutants really is. The realization that despite human expansion, we have no control over the weather and that only it can undo so much of our contamination is both humbling and frightening. It leaves one literally awful.
Even the long, dark winters of the Pacific Northwest are beautiful. The sound of the rain against the rooftops and streets, mimicking its mother ocean’s waves breaking against beaches, can lull one to sleep at night or provide a soundtrack for busy afternoons at work and romantic evenings.
And perhaps the most amazing, when you think about all of the factors and extremes that contribute to it happening, is every single rainbow. The sun burns at several thousand degrees to throw visible radiation in every conceivable direction, and a few of those photons make it to Earth, slip through her atmosphere, break through the rainclouds, strike the raindrops at just the right angle, refract through it, and strike the back of your eye, turning into pulses of electricity, showing amazingly bright, saturated hues across the entire spectrum in your brain to your soul.
After the rain hits the ground, it drains away, from capillaries, to larger and larger waterways, until it hits a river like the mighty Columbia, and flows back into the ocean, only to take the journey again—someday.
Though today is a sunny one in my part of Oregon, winds are calm and our high is set to be around 54°F. A nice day for Thanksgiving in America.
Gods know I have a lot to be thankful for. But in particular, I’m grateful for being alive, for knowing the people I know, for my family and friends, whether living or absent, and for everyone who works around the globe on everything from computers and medicine to water treatment and milling so I don’t have to.
And I’m grateful my friend is still alive. The world would not be as bright of a place without you.
The rain may come, but it doesn’t stay forever.