I woke this morning to the sound of raindrops on the window, and the low rumble of thunder from a storm far away.  Zachary crawled into bed with us and, while my wife slept, I played quiet games with him and read him a story, shushing him through wide grins when his giggles became too loud.

There is something calming about rain and — for me — even storms.  The most common reaction is one of dismay when one pulls open the blinds and is met with the sight of wet weather and I, too, have felt this dismay when rain will make an outdoor excursion dreary or cancel it altogether.  But rain is insulating, giving me the feeling that I and my company are the last people on this tilting planet and, for a little while, that lends me a sense of freedom.  Who among us has not enjoyed quality time spent with loved ones under light of candle or flashlight when storms have taken out the power and forced us away from our computer screens and television sets?  And even time spent outside in the rain can be rejuvenating if one only takes care not to fight it. One of my happiest memories from childhood is running outside with friends, catching raindrops on my tongue.

When Zachary was a baby, I remember rocking him back to sleep once after he woke in the middle of the night. Finally, when he was almost asleep, I sat down on the bed with my back against the headboard and sang him quiet lullabies as the final push to the welcoming arms of his dreams. It was raining that night and so I just sat with this tiny child in my arms, absorbing the sound of the pitter-patter on the window panes.  Another night, when I was experiencing more than the usual amount of stress at work and found myself wide awake and my mind racing in the very early hours of the morning, I got up and opened up the word processor on my computer.  In response to the demands of the blinking cursor, I decided to write a list of ten things that “fill me up” and make me feel whole again. The top two items on the list?  Holding a sleeping child, and listening to the rain.

Today, I am thankful for rain.  I am grateful for rain not only in its function of bringing life to the trees and flowers that make my world beautiful and to the food I eat — which one can’t take for granted when so much of the world suffers drought — but also in its function of washing away the grime and dust of daily toil and bringing peace.

In the comments section below, please share with me some of the things you like to do when it rains.