Tuesday, 14 July 2009


It rained today. A big fat gushy thunderstorm. I sat in the house and watched the drops coming down, little diamonds dripping from the tiles on the roof of the shed. I opened the window so I could hear the sounds better. The water rushing in the leaves of the trees that surround the house, and drumming on the roof.

I love rain. I love to lie in bed at night and listen to it roaring on the roof overhead in winter, hear it glugging in the downpipes. I snuggle down under the duvet with Pat next to me, listen to his steady breath, and then turn my mind, my whole concentration, to the sky. It doesn't lull me to sleep. It's too important for that. I always stop and listen when it rains, whatever I am doing, because to me it is the sound of being safe, warm, and loved.

I've thought a lot about why this is, and I think it comes down to one particular memory. My mother came to collect me from school one lunchtime because I was sick. I'd gone down with a migraine. Not a bad headache, the real thing, with the psychedelic tunnel vision, the numb arms and legs, the vomiting, and the dreadful pain as well. (Anybody who tells you they have a migraine and are still walking around, functioning, does not have a migraine, believe me!) My mother never drove me to or from school so this was a big occasion for me. She had to stop off on the way home for some reason, perhaps to get some painkillers for me. I lay on the back seat, head hurting too much to open my eyes, and listened to the rain pelting on the roof of the little fiesta. I knew I was going home. The sound of the rain soothed me. As I relaxed, the pain eased. I was warm and safe, and I had been rescued. I knew my mother would make me feel better. Even though I felt atrocious, it was a good moment.

This is the reason I like rain. It reminds me of a happy childhood memory. But lately, I've come to think of it another way. I look out at the brooding sky, watch those icy pellets smacking on the path, and think of all those poor souls who are not lucky like me, and have no where to go to escape the rain. I think of them more and more now, when I hear rain at night, huddling in doorways, under cardboard boxes, trying to stay dry, because once you get soaked its so hard to dry out. Unlike me, they have no one to rescue them.

St Martin's Housing Trust

Lets try to do something to help these people that is more than giving a few quid to the Sally Annes or Crisis at Christmas once a year. Lets stop and speak to them, and treat them as human beings. Human beings with crippling problems created by the society in which we live. We are all responsible. Lets make the rain a happier place to to be in.

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