It’s raining here today.
On and on and on.
Which might not seem very exciting, but if, like me, you live in central Victoria, it’s fabulous. A real novelty.
The weather here is dry and sunny most of the time. Then occasionally, the clouds come over, the heavens open up and we get a flash flood. It’s like a tap that’s on or off.
But rainy days, where the sky dribbles on and on and on - that’s something special.
Something worth celebrating.
Something that needs to be enjoyed to the full.
I’ve always found rain exciting. I grew up in the dry areas of north-western and central-western NSW.
Once, we went for years without rain.
So whenever a rainy day arrived, we embraced it.
My all-time favourite thing to do in the rain was playing in the gutters. Classy, eh? Something straight from the pages of The Great Gatsby. Our country-town street was tarred down the middle and there was proper curbing and guttering, but the gap in between was a hodge-podge of dirt and rocks. When it rained, we used the dirt and rocks to block the water that raged down the gutters. My word, we made some brilliant dams. Deep and wide. Engineering feats. Hoover, eat your heart out!
This mightn't sound like everyone's idea of fun, but in a town where water restrictions meant you couldn’t even play under a sprinkler for four months of the year, the abundant supply of muddy gutter water was a real treat!
The second was to make indoor cubbies. We'd grab all the blankets and quilts out of the linen press and drape them over tables and chairs and lounges until the living room resembled a strange Bedouin camp that was held together with pegs. We’d drag in pillows and cushions and toys and board games and bickies and have a ball.
The third was to collect worms. I don’t know where the worms went during the dry spells. Perhaps they burrowed deep into the soil. Perhaps they dehydrated and waited patiently for water to reconstitute their bodies and souls. But as soon as rain started to fall once more, hundreds of slimy pink worms would appear, as if by magic, on the back patio, the driveway and the tar down the middle of the road. And the hunt was on! It was grand to find the longest fattest boofer in the neighbourhood, but at the end of the day, quantity ruled over quality. Forget the sports car or the diamond ring. Real prestige lay in having your IXL jam jar full to the brim with worms.
The rainy day delights of my childhood are long gone. But I still think a wet day is worth celebrating. This afternoon, I plan to curl up on the lounge with a good book, a thermos and a granny rug. I’ll read and snuggle and sip coffee and listen to the pitter-patter of rain on the veranda roof.
At some stage, I'll slip on my gumboots, open my brollie and go for a ramble in the rain.
And, who knows? I might even grab an empty jam jar on my way through the kitchen ...
Anyone up for a worm hunt this arvy?