Rainy Days

Here in the Philadelphia region it pretty rainy the last couple of days.  I was having a hard time coming up with a topic for my next blog entry and then it hit me.  It hit me literally as I was walking into therapy the other day.  I thought I would discuss my fascination with rain.

To most people, this may seem like an odd thing to discuss or with which to be fascinated.  I often hear people talking about rainy days.  They will talk about how it makes them sleepy, how they want to stay in bed or how they feel depressed because it is so dreary.  For me, rain has the opposite effect.  It wakes me up and it excites my senses.

I sense and process sensory input different than other people.  This is something I am aware of and something that I have discussed on many occasions with my occupational therapists and friends.  Today though, I realized that I had never really talked about how my sensory system processes rain.

I have heard people say of me that I have phenomenal hearing abilities.  I have come to the conclusion that I can hear things more acutely than people with neurotypical sensory processing systems.  I can hear individuals whispering two rooms over from me at school.  I can hear my family talking when I am upstairs as if they were sitting right next to me.  I can be in the bathroom with the door closed and hear a whispered conversation all the way down the hall.  I can hear airplanes and helicopters overhead, minutes before anyone else notices them.  So just think of what rain means to me.

Rain means different sounds.  Sounds out of the ordinary of daily and sounds that are utterly fascinating.  I have heard people say that no two snowflakes are the same.  Well, I can also say that no two rain storms are the same.  They each have distinctive sound.  It is like a symphony and it is delightful.  Rain falling on a flat roof sounds different than rain falling on an angled roof.  Rain hitting windows of different thickness makes different tones.  I can almost hear the glass ringing with the sound.  The way the wind blows absolutely changes the music of the rain.  Overall, it is a wonderful sound that I wish I could share with others.

Of course then, on days that it rains, I will admit that I get overly excited.  I get worked up in anticipation of the chorus that I will hear.  I think anyone who hears what I hear would as well.  It makes you happy.  So, I ask my family and friends to bear with me on these rainy days.  I also ask for the family and friends of other individuals who process sounds differently to be aware of this and to understand that sometimes rainy days are great days.

7 thoughts on “Rainy Days

  1. Thanks for sharing. I will pay more attention to rain sounds next time it falls, usually I think of rain as nuisance. But you are absolutely right. Tea

  2. Paul… Our mutual friend Kristie Koenig sent me this blog post. I am so grateful to her for sharing it and to you for writing it. Your descriptions are so poetic, and now I know I will always pay different attention to the rain than before I read your descriptions. We sometimes take our own natural ways of experiencing things for granted; you are reminding me to appreciate my own sensory experiences, and to take notice of others who are having their own moment with sensation.

  3. Hello. I am Sonny, a friend of Lucia. I read your piece on rain and could not help but recall my own experiences when I was a child in the Philippines. Homes there have galvanized iron for roofing. When rain comes, it gets really loud. And because the Philippines is a tropical country in the typhoon belt, it rains often.

    I could tell when rain would come…I would smell it. I know it is weird. It has a distinct smell that is soothing. And when it begins, it begins with a slow droplets falling on the roof…like someone walking on tiptoes but dropping his or her toes with increasing force and frequency. As the wind picks up, the tempo changes as the wind’s swooshing sound competes with the drops – now bigger – falling with increasing force on the roof. By this time I am getting excited and I beg my mother to let my sisters and I play in the rain! She would just make sure that there was no lightning and once assured, she would let us go and we would have a blast.

    Once out in the rain, we would hear the rain pummeling the roof. Its rhythm continues to change with the alternating strengthening and weakening of the wind. And as the water flows through the gutters on the roof and empties down three drainpipes – where the pipes are missing – we are treated to a sight of an upside down fountain of sorts…and my sisters and I would take turns getting under the makeshift shower! At least till my mom yells at us to get out from under the pipes because the water flowing down is not really clean! 🙂

    We would come back in when the rain stopped or when our fingers and toes are all wrinkled.

    I think my favorite time is when it rains at night…when the rhythm lulls me to sleep.

    As an adult, my best memory of rain was when my children and I went out and played in the rain. My son was 4 and my daughter was 2. After playing for a while, I sat down and enjoyed the rain falling on my face and skin. My daughter climbed up on my lap and lay her head on my chest and sighed contentedly. And in the tiniest but clearest of voices she said, “I wish I could stay here forever.” She did not notice as my tears mixed with the raindrops. I didn’t mind. I was in heaven.

    Thank you for writing about rain. Your prose triggered a lot of happy memories.

  4. This was a fascinating explanation of the way you process rain. I’ve always loved the rain too, but I think that might be because I grew up on a farm, and see the rain truly as life-renewing. Your description of your “anticipation of the chorus” was wonderful, and made me smile. 🙂

  5. Paul, thank you for your words. You are amazing. I just read your latest post about rain to Barry, my husband. You certainly have a gift of transferring meaning and experiences to others. Keep writing dear friend. You have a fan in me! Deb

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