Have you ever lived in a place in which it rains every day for months on end? Maybe not all day, but most of the day? Maybe not every single day, but it feels like it? It’s kind of like that where I live. But I cannot complain because without that rain, and with our summers getting hotter and dryer each year, we would have more droughts and wildfires. This has been a very rainy season, and we’ve put off some hikes and bike rides because of the cold wet stuff and feeling the general malaise of the season. I remember last year, when we finally came out of a winter that was full of snow most days instead of rain, on the first decent day we stretched our legs on an 11K hike, and boy did that feel good. I just noticed that next week we might have a stretch of days wherein there is no or little rain, and some sunshine, and I sure am looking forward to that.

The rain and staying inside has been good for writing and reading though, for imagining other worlds, which is what I always do on the trail too. I’ve made quite a bit of headway into the second book in the Wild Mountain series, and I finally finished my short series at SFF World on “Exploring the Ecological Weird.” Feels good to get that done. And I finished a syllabus for teaching an ecofiction course, which might’ve been able to happen this coming summer, but we will be away much of July, so maybe next year. I’ve rethought getting a master’s. That means writing another entrance/application paper. And I’ve succumbed into other worlds and read so much this winter. From Paul Kingsnorth’s Beast to Peter Berresford Ellis’s Mammoth Books of Celtic Myths and Legends to Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History in Time (just started).

Rain doesn’t always keep me indoors writing. I still get my Fit walking almost every day. I just don’t go very far. I like to gaze on the wet, shimmering leaf-covered back yard and the progress of the cherry tree. I dream of a garden again, only every year I seem to learn about what works and doesn’t work. I have to tell you, I give up on growing tomatoes and green peppers in this environment. We’re talking no greenhouse, hardly any backyard sun, and out in the open. The summer season is shorter here than many places. I count 1.5 to 2 months each year that are mostly sunny.

I am babbling, but this is what rain does. Thoughts spill onto paper like raindrops, energizing whatever growth spurt will happen later–a page, a chapter, a novel. A rainforest of words to disappear into.

I have developed cabin fever. My body is undergoing that as well as just over a month of being a vegan, which has been great and all, and I don’t want to go back to being otherwise. It just feels like a silent transition, getting used to different things while also feeling cooped up because of shitty weather. I had yesterday off from work and I listened to geese making so much noise outside that at one point there was a loud ongoing almost purring sound, like one of our cats when we’re petting it but amplified by a lot, and I thought maybe that was not a goose but a bear, and I looked outside but didn’t see anything. Anything except the leaves outside I need to clean up from the back deck, and the leaves covering the yard. And the old terrarium in a corner by the fence, which I should have brought in a year ago and which now has its own ecosystem thriving around and in it–but I could use it for starting some herbs. And on the other side of the back yard the red wheelbarrow still perched up against the other fence. A perfect red in the black and white of a misty day.

I remember when I first started running back in 2014. I loved running in the rain. My big thing was: get out there, no matter what it’s doing. Hot sun. Wind storms. Horrific rain. Whatever. Being in the elements propels you to feel alive. And I did it. And now I feel it’s time to unburden myself again from these weird trappings that keep me inside from the cold. That keep me away from the beautiful outdoors. The last time we went to Mundy Park was just a few weeks ago. I told Morgan we must go again this weekend, even if it’s raining! Just grab our raincoats and still-muddy hiking boots and go!

The featured image is of a rainy hike near Buntzen Lake.

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