“Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…”
a great song. Great song. From The Cascades in 1962.
was thinking about that song the other day for no other reason
that actual falling rain.
makes a great sound. Or, more precisely, I should say it makes
great sounds. Because there’s all types of rain. More types of
rain than Bubba has types of shrimp in Forrest Gump.
Forrest Gump shrimp numbers. I thought that would be a funny little
joke, and a nod toward a wonderful moment many might recognize
from an outstanding movie, only to just now realize that movie
also has Forrest talking about different types of rain as well.
Still works. Now, back to those sounds…)
an episode of M*A*S*H where Hawkeye loses his sight.
(I believe it’s from the fifth season, called “Out of Sight, Out
of Mind”.) During the episode, he’s talking about some of the
things he’s discovered and learned, and mentions that rain falling
sounds like steaks sizzling on a grill.
on the grill… that’s awesome. The smell… the anticipation. And
as Hawkeye points out, the sound. And yes, since hearing him say
it, many times over the years I have been aware of falling rain
giving off that sound.
the particular rain that set me off wandering and pondering and
writing it was simply rain in February.
in upstate New York… as is winter throughout many places… often
brings with it the joys of snow. Funny thing about the northeast,
in many areas the winter months bring along temperatures with
few days crossing above the 30-degree mark. That means snow… and
means no rain.
absolutely love the smell of fires in October. Those first fires
being lit as the temperatures begin to drop. The first whiffs
in the air after months without it. There is something magical
about a crisp autumn evening with puffs rising from chimneys.
rain after the winter is remarkably similar to those fires in
October… you haven’t experienced falling rain for months, which
helps in raising it above general background noise when it arrives.
hasn’t been a particularly horrible winter season for us. Just
two years ago, we went through a brutally cold run though. How
woke up and turned on the television one day early in March of
that year. The weatherman pointed out that it was the sixtieth
day of the year, and to that point about two dozen days of the
year had greeted the sun rise with a temperature registering in
the month of February, the average low was below zero and the
average high was single-digits.
an event referred to as thundersnow. Simple enough… a thunderstorm,
where instead of rain there is snow falling. (And yes, the general
concept is pretty cool. Thunder and lightning and a blizzard.
That’s neat.) Well, if you went through a month where you were
more in need of an outdoor thermometer that had a good range below-zero
than one that could tell you anything above 10-degrees, you’d
probably find yourself more fascinated with February rain than
thundersnow as well.
like the rain. I enjoy heading outside after a storm and smelling
that unmistakable it-just-rained scent of fresh, clean dirt in
the air. I’m not necessarily a puddle-stomper, but I can appreciate
the effort and the joy some find in it. I enjoy watching the clouds
move. And, in just the right conditions, watching the rain slowly
move along can be amazing.
I was younger, I used to love it when it rained. I think a part
of that was enjoying something that others didn’t find quite as
appealing. With youth sports and neighborhood games, I don’t know
if I truly played better in the rain. I do know I enjoyed the
challenge of raising myself to the environment. And I can tell
you that others around me didn’t seem to do as well during poor
then a few days ago, there I was near a skylight in our house…
listening to drops of rain land on it. It wasn’t a background
noise. It didn’t disappear. I noticed it. Because rain in February
just isn’t as common as you might think.
is on the way. The rain showed that more than any groundhog might.
A run of cold days is also approaching, with the forecast bringing
us back to some single-digit overnight thrills. Swings of thirty
to forty degree differences in high temperatures, just one day
apart, are coming. Spring has not arrived just yet.
the rain though, the rainbow. The return of the rain is a welcome