Sound of a rainy day

I love a rainy day. Perhaps the appreciation is normal to others. Maybe for me it stands out and so I feel like I have to say something about that.

I grew up in Palo Alto, CA. But I was born in Seattle. Seattle is known for being a very wet city. I don’t feel like looking up statistics right now, but something like 300+ days per year have a rain shower in Seattle. I was only 1 year old when my family moved from Seattle, but I think rainy days are one of the things that I remember feeling, hearing, smelling as a new born there. And it gives me comfort to this day for that reason.

In Palo Alto it was different. The seasons were very uniform, never too cold, never too hot, rain started in October, usually the day of Halloween, and carried on periodically until February or March. After the last rain in those early spring days it wouldn’t rain again until the first rain of the fall in October. Sometimes there would be a freak storm, but it was rare. California days were reliable.

That’s probably a thing of the past now, with the climate changes, things will just get weirder and weirder. Moving to Boston for College brought an ironically nice change of weather into my life. Most people complain about the humidity in the summer and extreme cold and wind in the winter. Not me. I loved the humidity, it was so funky, being warm and wet all at once. And then during the spring and summer we’d get thunderstorms to pass through and break things up with big dramatic booms and lighting flashes, that will break up the monotony of any day!

A rainy afternoon is special, just like a beautiful warm summer day, is special. On a nice warm sunny day, everyone is in a great mood, relaxed, smiling, catching rays. Rainy days might not have everyone smiling but we’re still all sharing an experience, the experience of  water falling out of the sky on our heads. Some of us are prepared, some of us not. In crowds walking down the sidewalk our umbrellas bob up and down in a dance. As the ferocity of the rain comes and goes, we find sudden opportunities to creep out from the awnings and make a dash for the shop across the street, daring the skies to get us wet on our mission impossible.

It rains fairly regularly in Berlin. This year in early March, for nearly 3 weeks it was irregularly warm and sunny, people were in t-shirts and sun glasses, it was like summer had come, 4 months early. We were all joking that normal Berlin weather would have required at least 6 days of grey skies, 4 days of rain, and nearly constant unbearable temperatures. In reality Berlin isn’t that bad in the March, but it was an oddly warm spring. I worry climate change is really going to permanently take the special memories of the seasons, and swap in a world of randomness and dangerously unpredictable weather extremes.

With the regular rain in Berlin, for a short time I feel like all the people out at the clubs die out, all the Kneipen empty, and we all stay home, have something comforting, and enjoy each others company. We “kipp” our windows and let in the fresh rain scented air, and listen to the sounds of the city outside our homes blanketed in water.


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