When was the last time you listened to the rain? Really listened? We all hear it, especially when it comes down like a deluge, but do you ever stop to listen with all your senses?
I’m sitting in my conservatory under the generous leaves of my giant elephant ears plant Olaf, snuggled under a blanket and it’s raining cats and dogs outside. I have a direct view of the crow’s nest where Mrs Crow has been devotedly sitting and hatching the eggs. I’m sure she would have preferred the cover of a few leaves rather than sit in the rain, but she has not left her nest.
The river is playing a wonderful symphony of splashing water as the raindrop cascade onto it, and it is far better than any manmade sound that could possibly warm my heart. Somewhere above me are gossiping sparrows who are all aflutter about the rain as well, which seems to have put a damper on their afternoon plans.
I see the raindrops and hear their sounds, and am transported back to India and all those wonderful monsoon rains. Yes of course there is the pessimistic side to it all – the humidity, the sloshing mud, the cacophony of impatient drivers stuck in traffic jams because of overflowing drains or open manholes. But there is also the heady aroma of hot chai, freshly fried samosas from the corner vendor, a whiff of pakoras from the cart across the temple and I can smell sweet jalebis frying somewhere in the distance. Then there is the inevitable herd of cows slowly trudging down the street in search of a dry spot and perchance a snack from the vegetable vendor. Children are playing in the rain, chasing each other gleefully, completely oblivious to the berating mother or grandmother yelling after with a jaru (broom) in her hands and a glass of warm milk in the other.
India is sadly thousands of kilometres away from me, and though I mourn the years I spent there, I am blessed with my slice of heaven by the river here in Berlin.
My apple tree is almost in full bloom, flaunting its gentle pastels, accentuated by the raindrops and looking ever so elegant. I am envious, not just of the serenity he exudes (my apple tree’s name if Johnny) and but because the drops are far more beautiful than any diamonds you could buy in store.
My rose bush is peeking in through the window and showcasing her liquid emeralds. It’s too early to flower yet, but if all she offers me this year are raindrops on leaves I would be happy.
Snow mesmerised me during winter with its powerful blanket of silence, but a good spring rain moves my soul. It is timeless and transcendent, and I know it somehow unites me with everyone I loved and miss who have passed away. There are goosebumps on my skin, and I know it’s more than just the chilly air. There is a spirit passing by to remind me that these are the priceless moments of life that we have to treasure and never take for granted. For as long as I can hear, feel and see the rain, I have every reason to be grateful and celebrate life.
The temperatures have dropped, the candles are lit, there are no shouting children in the courtyard or drunken Sunday sailors passing by, both cats are curled up and snoring contentedly. It’s just me and the rain.