Remember when we named the moons?
I just found this cool, related thing! And it’s so perfect.
I was catching up on posts from Suzette Haden Elgin (swoon!) and she was talking about rain and naming types of rain. Twenty-seven of them.
This was inspired by a writing-form from Ron Carlson called “The Twenty-Seventh Rain” …
“THE HITCHHIKING RAIN, almost cold, a rain we had to ignore as we faced Route 8 …”
And she liked it so much that she came up with her own run of rain names:
“THE DRAGON RAIN that chased us across the fields and down the roads and wrapped us all up tight in warm wetness.”
So — of course — how could I not do some rain-naming of my own?
- THE RAIN OF THE UNENDING SOAKING while headed to work, wondering how to make bearable nine hours of standing behind the bar in wet jeans and squishy cold socks.
- THE RAIN OF THE PORCH SWING that is solid and steady but never cold, and is sometimes accompanied by a glass of something, no ice.
- THE RAIN THAT FALLS ON YOUR TENT when you have a sprained ankle and are half-hiding half-dozing under mosquito netting, dreaming of someone special to you. And then there they are.
- THE RAIN OF LATE FOR SCHOOL always makes you feel a little more guilty, drops falling from the ends of your braids.
- HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING RAIN when lightning strikes right above your head, and you and your gentleman friend realize as soon as you pick yourselves up off the ground that a quick run to the cafe was actually a terrible idea.
- THE RAIN OF APOLOGIES. I’m sorry.
- THE RAIN OF NOT HAVING ANYWHERE TO GO because you have nowhere to go and this has been true for so long, and ducking into Tomer’s cafe, knowing that someone will buy you a coffee or a beer eventually.
- THE RAIN OF HOPING NO ONE WILL NOTICE THAT YOU’RE CRYING.
- THE RAIN OF THE GREENHOUSE that gives you permission to spend another hour curled up with your book and your bear and some cushions.
- THE MISTY RAIN OF DANCING THE DANCE OF SHIVA BY THE OCEAN. This rain is so fine that it breathes on you through the trees. Have you done Dance of Shiva in the rain? It’s like being the rain, that’s how beautiful it is. As if you are a fish or a flower or a star. It is liquid math. It is the perfection of nature and I am being it and it is inside me and through me and around me and just me.
- THE RAIN OF WATCHING PEOPLE MAKE SCRUNCHED-NOSE FACES against it. Because it was so sudden that no one has an umbrella. And you are on a tiny covered bench, watching the nose-scrunching.
- THE RAIN OF REBELLION AND DELIGHT that comes while everyone is nose-scrunching and running for cover. There is one little kid in a striped shirt who walks slowly, looking up, with a delighted smile. His hands are moving around his head and his expression says: Look at this! Drops! On me! They tickle! How completely wonderful to be alive in this moment and have water drop on my face! Wheeeeeeeeee!
- THE COMING AND GOING THUNDERSTORM RAIN OF TAOS that gushes and stops, gushes and stops, while I write and write and write, leaning up against the wall of the room where Willa Cather listened to the rain too.
- THE RAIN OF THERE IS NO REAL WORK TODAY when you work in an orchard … and so you wake up blinking, knowing that the day will be slow and meandering, painting ladders and taking long breaks. Another mug of instant coffee on a red-checkered table cloth. Sorting screws and bolts. Missing the trees.
- THE RAIN OF WEARING A SCARF AND GLOVES IN JULY in Berlin — in July! — hugging the borrowed, soggy peacoat to yourself, wrapping yourself up in imagined warmth and knowing that California is waiting and that the money for the ticket will emerge from somewhere. Because it has to. Because you remember the winter. And your hands remember the feel of hauling up buckets of coal from the scary, scary, scary basement.
- THE RAIN OF YES I LIVE IN PORTLAND* that is so strangely gentle. Look, it’s raining. Again. Walking through it, hand in hand with my gentleman friend, it leaves drops on my eyelashes. It’s a pretty rain.
*My brother has a little ditty he likes to sing that goes like this (must be sung out loud): “I live in Portland, Oregon … I think it’s going to pour again …”
- THE RAIN THAT MAKES TINY HOLES IN MOUNDS OF SNOW.
- THE RAIN OF KNOWING YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE that is especially good for napping. But also for baking bread.
Play with me?
You totally don’t need twenty-seven. You don’t even need ten.
But five rains? Three rains? One rain?
Do you want to name rain with me?
It’s a pretty neat thing.