Florida gets regular gully washers all summer. When I worked in an office, rain was a quick shower in the afternoon that cleared up right before everyone headed home at 5. It’s an ideal arrangement. The rain cuts the heat and wets the pavement just enough that commuters drive cautiously and everyone gets home safely.
In the office, an occasional distant rumble of thunder would disrupt the hushed silence of the monastic cubicles, but the rain hardly impinged on your consciousness as you wrestled with spreadsheets and ad copy. It only really registered if lightening cracked and the power flickered. That’s when you learned who had saved their work and who hadn’t.
Working from home, rain has taken on a whole new pleasurable intensity. If it’s raining, I can work out on the patio instead of in the air-conditioning. Rain makes Florida the lovely, lush paradise of picture postcards. The garden becomes a vibrant splash of flowering color. Better yet, I can’t weed because it’s wet.
When I lived in Iowa, rain felt odd and uncomfortable. Rain frequently meant ice. The temperature was cold enough for chances of snow all the way through April. When there was rain, there were brisk breezes that cut through you until even your bones felt frozen. The wind and the rain drove me crazy because it was the opposite of what I know on a gut-level to be correct.
Course, if you grew up in Iowa, those rains probably seemed perfectly normal. I hear transplants complain about Florida’s rains, the way it’ll be pouring in one location and perfectly dry a block over, the way there’s always mold growing on the fences and overhangs. I’ve heard some get really upset. Does it ever stop raining, they cry?
That weird uncomfortable feeling you get when the world doesn’t conform to your expectations is a lot like rain. You can’t always predict it, you can’t turn it off, and it can drive you crazy. I run in to it more now as summer ends and school begins because I’m a media instructor. I have to watch the news, and I hear a lot about what should be versus what is, especially in politics.
It’s the one part of the job I really don’t care for. Life is seldom that simple, and hearing prescriptive messages over and over gets depressing. You can start to feel the whole world is wrong.
So, rain becomes even more important. When cognitive dissonance starts to set in, I sit on the patio and listen to the rattle on the rooftops, the gurgle flowing through pipes, and thunder grumbling overheard. The rest of the world sits in still silence as it waits for the rain to pass. When you need a reminder of what normal is, I heartily recommend you listen to the rain.