Friday, 5 September 2008

C on Rain

I am borrowing this from a passage in one of her emails to a friend who had also been writing about rain. It's with C's permission of course. This is her Malaysian rain.

...I was caught by your description of the open window and the rooks, the rain falling. Then I had a very strong flashback to my childhood - in Malaya, the monsoons bringing very heavy rain for days and weeks, my head hurting from the pressure of the thundery conditions, but the sound of the rain, fat drops falling on large tropical plants. The banana tree in particular, is a sound that I could listen to for a long time. I thought of you and your mother by the window together and the rain falling in straight lines downward splashing in pools under the plants. The dark rain and the leaves, the shining drops on shining leaves in the dark seemed to go so wonderfully with the shine on rooks feathers, the disquiet, the rustling and murmurings of bird and rain and trees, the room darkening behind.

When the monsoon arrived it broke the terrible stifling heat and we would all, my father, myself and my sister (funny that my mum didn't join in) rush out into this warm downpour in just our knickers (not dad, he had shorts!) feeling the rain drum into our skin like soft needles jumping into puddles like Gene Kelly in the film 'Singing in the Rain holding our mouths open to fill up with warm fresh water, being hit by the pungent earthy smell from the ground or the perfume being released by the large exotic flowers that were lying bedraggled in the borders. I remember reading a Somerset Maugham story set in Malaya many years ago where the smell of the flowers was so well described that I could almost physically smell them. I think it was a type of orange blossom.

If anyone wants to send me a short passage on rain, you're very welcome. Remember, short. Perhaps I will compile that Book of Rain.


The Plump said...

If anyone wants to send me a short passage on rain, you're very welcome.

It's bloody pissing down in Hull.

George S said...

Yes, that's the kind of thing, Peter. I think it should be like the punishment children used to be given in school. Write it out a hundred times. Just feel that bloody rain pissing down.

It's headed into Norfolk too.

The Plump said...

Writing 100 lines is the perfect metaphor for English rain - the earth groans 'oh no not more. What am I going to do with it all'? But the severe schoolmasterly clouds insist on the relentlessness of the task. Everything is sodden, the plants are lush green through binge drinking.

I, too, like to stand outside in Greek rain, especially in the summer. There the earth sighs in gratitude and the plants have the perky, bright green of the moderate continental drinker. The only drawback is that the local electricity sub-stations are overcome with shock and plunge us into darkness at the hint of a storm.

Easing off here, it's all yours.

Anonymous said...

Does an englyn count?

Tywydd Mawr

Mae'na sŵn o'm mewn i sydd i'w glywed
yn glawio'n dragywydd,
a lliw'r diawl ym mhyllau'r dydd,
lliw gwaed yr holl gawodydd.

dana said...

The tail end of Gustav lashed us all day Thursday, and left us with thick clouds and cooler air on Friday. We didn't see the sun until yesternight, as Irene, who is 5, would say.

Herre in the midwest U.S., we're more used to quick thunderstorms. Not these tropical events.

Mark Granier said...

My last comment on this: