Here’s the Thing: Autumn showers

Pluviophile: a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

Did you know that words exists? I’m thinking there might be a reason why people don’t go around shouting they are pluviophiles. I can’t even type it without my face looking contorted and shaking my head no. The word should be “rainconomist” or “precipitarian”.

Nope, they had to pick one that is borderline creepy. A pluviophile sounds like a peeper that is hiding in the shadows eating a cupcake.

The past few days it has been pouring down rain. When this article comes out it might be sunny, but at the moment it’s been a full week of dark gray overcast. Where is Noah building that ark? It’s cold, soggy, and there’s no charm to be found. Except at night. I enjoy hearing relaxing waterfalls before falling asleep. If I lather on tropical body butter I can pretend that at least I’m falling asleep in Hawaii.

So here I am observing that this is not the life-giving spring time rain that washes away the old to introduce the new. It’s the morbidly cold October rain. Most of the flora and fauna is dying or falling asleep for a very long time. We’re not in the Bambi scene where classical flute music is dancing around like rain drops from flower to flower. It’s the scene where the animals are slowly going into hibernation and the snow starts falling. Or if you’re like me it feels like the scene where his mother gets shot.

Calm down, you can’t blame me. We had such an alive, sunny summer! Now it’s dead. Where did my usual fall time obsession go? I used to love the rain! I even married a guy named Rane. You can’t be much more of a pluviophile than that. We even enjoyed living in Seattle for a couple years. My poor California friends were like, yeah, no. This isn’t working for us. But I loved it!

Actually, when we lived in the Emerald City it was during the wettest day on record. Heading to work that day meant walking out of my haunted brick-red apartment building and being met by buckets of water falling down from the sky. There was a biting chill coming off of the Puget Sound and my umbrella had officially turned inside out. In the busiest part of Downtown, I’m pretty sure almost no one was driving that day. A rare sight for that area. As a full-time pedestrian it was nice to take advantage of illegally maneuvering in and out of the street where one side of the might have more overhangs than the other. On my way home the same scene ensued, so I grabbed a hot bowl of Egg Drop Soup around the corner from where I lived and cuddled up inside my apartment.

I’m not bitter, but I have to get in the mood now. I’m not twirling around like Julie Andrews on a mountaintop and that’s OK. It takes a little work for me to warm up at cooling off. I have a few tricks to help me when I’m not feeling rainy appreciative. I’ve noticed other people’s tricks too. A bouquet of fall flowers. A new coffee cup. Buying waterproof outerwear… if it’s warm that’s great, but if it’s cute, that’s even better. Enjoying the fans of pumpkin spice that are flipping tables because they’re so excited. My “cashmere” scented candle that pairs well with my hobby of writing. Trying all the delicious squash soups around town at cozy sandwich shops like Veronica’s or Charlotte’s (both in Kenai). My visits to the local library are frequent and my mood in books has changed from the flirty beach to gothic Prague.

As it is with working out, a new diet, a new hobby, or a new haircut, it’s taking me time to experience it before I completely commit to loving it.

Here’s the thing: First, let me give a mild disclaimer. I talk about weather, because you all experience it with me and I love that. It’s something we all share.

OK, so here’s the real thing: Even though it’s inevitable, it’s easier for me to be introduced to the heat than the frosty. In fact as I type, the sun is now shining and it couldn’t do any more justice to the beautiful multi-color trees then it is right now. Every shade of yellow and green is singing as loudly as it can. The air is crisp and it’s a good day.

Even though I’m hesitant, I’m welcoming in this new season knowing that like healing, it’s going to take time. Mist, drizzle, drops, shower. Frost, flurries, snowy powder. It might not seem a graceful transition, but it’s giving wintertime permission.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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