Tonight as the dark clouds rolled in over our heads with streaks of lightning flashing in them and the rain began to beat on the windshield I couldn’t help but think of those wonderful days when my children and I would look forward to summer evenings like this. We weren’t looking for the rain. We were looking for what would follow the rain. It is almost inevitable in our area of Ontario that when the rain ends before sunset you may see a rainbow, or even two,brightening the eastern sky against the backdrop of the black clouds as they trail off into the night.
Usually finding the rainbow meant running into the rain, most likely in bare feet, just as the sky began to lighten. We would stand in the middle of the road scanning the sky to get the first glimpse of that lovely glimmer of promise. Getting wet didn’t matter because the air was warm and the freshness of the drops on our faces made us laugh.
When my oldest left the area in her late teens she came home one spring from Vancouver and was so excited when we had a thunder storm. She said she had missed them so much. It made me a little sad to think there were people who never had the understanding of what a thunder storm was.
When she was a tiny thing she was a little afraid of the thunder so to ease her fear we developed a game. We would stand close to the door (not too close) so she could watch the storm and when the lightening came we would raise our hands with a squeal. Then when the thunder resounded through the air we would clap our hands together over heads and say “boom.”
Sometimes if the storm was in the night and was keeping little people awake I would bundle the kids into the car the way my Dad had done with me when I was little. Blankets wrapped around pajamas, off we would head to the pier in Port Dover to watch the lightening show over the water. It was better than fireworks. Dad always said the car was the safest place to be. Something about rubber not allowing the lightning to strike us. I think his theory has since been disproved but I always felt safe just because he told me that.
I’ve always loved the summer rain. Running downtown after the rain in bare feet as a girl with my friend was a great adventure. We would go out of our way to find puddles to jump into along the uneven sidewalk and we knew where the best ones would be. The fresh tar which was also a part of summer, wouldn’t stick to wet feet after the rain so there was no danger of getting in trouble for playing in the tar.
Summer storms rise quickly on Lake Erie and my Dad, being an Old Salt, knew they were coming before most people did. From our door in the summer we would watch with glee as the tourists playing in the water along the beach hurried toward the beach from the water when it started to rain. He would always quip. “They must be afraid they are going to get wet.”
As we move into the summer don’t forget to look for rainbows, jump in puddles and watch the Creators light show from a safe place. Let nature refresh you. Laugh with a child. Be awed by the splendor of a rainbow and lightning.
Wishing all my faithful readers a wonderful summer.