A Fine Rain

Since writing my last post, I’ve been thinking that it was perhaps a bit too negative — essentially a moan about the weather (though admittedly that is a characteristically British pastime!).

A much more positive view on the subject is taken by a couple of the characters in the novel That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis.

It’s been several years since I last read Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy, of which this book is the final instalment (I was going to say “third and final” but I realised this was slightly redundant since, with the notable exception of the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy trilogy, the number of books is clearly indicated in the word “trilogy”) and I haven’t had a chance to dig out my copy to check the names of the characters or precisely what they had to say about the weather. The gist of it, though, was that they enjoyed the weather in all its manifestations, not just the warm, sunny weather that most people would call “good”.

Ever since first reading the book (probably a good 25 years ago now) I have felt that this was a sensible policy to adopt, although I often fall far short of managing it and I think there are situations, when lives and livelihoods are threatened by by extreme meteorological conditions, that call for responses other than enjoyment. Most of the time, though, it’s better to aim to relish the variety of weather conditions — the warm summer sun, the soft refreshing rain, the power and majesty of a thunderstorm (a phenomenon which occurs very rarely in my part of the world – I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of full-on thunderstorms I’ve experienced since moving to North Wales nearly 20 years ago, and at least one of those was while I was on holiday elsewhere), the sheer beauty of a pristine snowfall, or whatever.

With that in mind, allow me to observe that I experienced a fine rain on my way home from work this evening.

The term “fine rain” is, of course, ambiguous and I must confess that the sense I was primarily thinking of as I cycled home was that sort of small, light raindrop that still somehow manages to totally get in your eyes and soak you through (despite wearing so-called waterproofs) within seconds, rather than a particularly excellent specimen of precipitation. Trying to think more positively about it, at least this sort of rain is relatively gentle (and quiet) compared to the heavy rain that I often have to contend with or, worse, hail (I still have a hard time trying to find any enjoyment in being outside in a hailstorm). Fine rain is more like a gentle, though persistent, caress and actually quite refreshing. Another nice thing about it is getting home and being able to change out of your wet clothes into nice dry, warm things. And it’s pretty good for the garden (if not experienced too often).

Despite those positives, I would definitely not think of it as being the sort of weather that would particularly make you want to eat ice cream. I was therefore rather surprised to see an ice cream van (complete with classic, slightly-out-of-tune jingle) driving down my road as I reached home.

Advertisements