Actually raining, I mean.
But sometimes I wish it was.
A couple of months ago I was walking across Southampton Common in the morning and I was roughly halfway between where I’d left my car and my destination when the heavens opened and it absolutely bucketed down. It was the proper flash-flood type of rain that only occurs in tropical climes or when it’s unseasonably humid in the UK, which it had been for days …
Within about two minutes, I was soaked to the skin. My feet were squelching as I was only wearing trainers; my t-shirt was completely sodden; the jeans I had on had doubled in weight … it was amazing. And I actually quite enjoyed it.
Only at times like that do I feel truly connected to the planet. It’s so easy to live in a man-made bubble and to forget the kind of experience you used to have every day as a kid. Back then it was all new: you’d see, hear, smell, taste and feel something different all the time, especially just running around outside.
- When was the last time you jumped in a puddle ?
- Have you discovered any new music that you really love in the last year ?
- Have you had a proper fight lately ?
- Have you kissed anyone new ?
- Have you fallen out with your best friend recently ?
- Have you made up with them two days later ?
- Have you forced yourself to eat something you didn’t think you’d like only to find you can’t get enough of the stuff afterwards ?
- When did you last go for a run/swim in the sea/play your favourite sport ?
- When did you last play a board-game or a round of cards ?
Woody Allen once said “I love the rain … it washes memories off the sidewalk of life …”
Admittedly, he was trying to impress Diane Keaton in Play It Again, Sam, but he made a good point, in a roundabout way. The planet needs the rain and we need it too. I love how the air “tasted” after that torrential downpour that day, and as I trudged on, I couldn’t help but smile as I looked forward to getting home, changing out of my wet things, perhaps making some soup … all good, wholesome, childhood-style memories.
I don’t understand people who only want to live in the sun. I love the seasons we enjoy in this country: it adds variety and it also means your wardrobe is much more interesting.
Shorts aren’t a good look for a grown man, but heavy coats and hats always look classically stylish.
As autumn draws in and we move towards winter once again – there’s only 87 more shopping days till Christmas – it’s time to dust down your woolies, dig out your scarves and gloves and get some dubbin on those walking boots. Embrace the chill, the wind and the rain as the year grows ever older. Remember that you’re human and imagine how it would have been if you’d been born 3,000 years ago … you’d be wearing a loin-cloth and furs, hiding in a cave … and you would have been looking forward to having a few more berries to eat in a month or so.
I can see some black clouds gathering, so I’m off for a ride through the New Forest on my bike. I’ve got my waterproofs but I probably won’t wear them even if it does chuck it down … last one to Brockenhurst gets the beers in !