the effect of climate change on the writer

It's raining, oh raining; the world is full of wild and gentle song. I feel like my little brown cottage is floating on a dream of the sea, here at the edge of the real sea; I feel such wonderful peace. This is an afternoon for blankets, and endless cups of tea, and working slowly on a new story about a girl and her skies and something strange the wind brings.

When I was small, the houses I lived in had corrugated iron roofs. They also had companion trees. Rain would fall through the leaves onto the iron, and it would always sound like magic from a stirred-up world beyond what we could see of the world. We didn't have a fireplace until we lived on an island when I was thirteen, so it was always blankets or cardigans or sometimes a tiny thrumming heater to keep warm. It was homemade chocolate coconut biscuits, and books, after coming in from walking the mist-washed shore or rowing through a storm. (I actually don't like the crackle of a hearthfire, or its brash heat. I like the unmitigated fall of water, and the lovely seep of cold.)

Used to be, I couldn't write until there was rain. But the past few years have forced me into a wider habit of weather, since climate change has meant longer summers, drier winters. When rain does come, I always try to get as much writing time as possible, because my language is different in the storm. Already this summer I've found words crumbling like waterless leaves whenever I pick them up. If I am to get anything written, it will have to be in pieces of rainshowers and the longing for storms.


  1. mmmm, yes, that makes sense. "longing for storms"...i feel the same way about snow, for which i have a great---even holy---reverence, remembering it from childhood and seeing less of it now. as if i were somehow more 'me', more whole and essentially right, in its white silence.

  2. Oh, I do find the sound of rain magical! What beautiful words.

  3. because we have had so much winter rain here I feel just the opposite and long for the sun and brighter days which lift my spirits. also I long for light - it is still dark here at 8 in the morning and dark at 4 in the afternoon and there just aren't enough hours in between.

  4. Oh yes, I think I love the rain most of all. I love the sound of water. Living in California I missed it so much during those long dry summers, and would listen to youtube videos of rain falling, but of course it wasn't the same :)

    1. I thought of doing that too but decided I'd always be too aware of how unreal it was. Although I remember lying with my small child in hospital one night, awake all night, and listening to the rain pour down, and getting such comfort from it - only to realise near dawn that it wasn't rain at all but the hum of the old air conditioner!

  5. I love this space : ) And yes, rain and writing - I fairly run to my desk when it rains. Candle lit, tea poured.

    And this nearly had me weeping: "Already this summer I've found words crumbling like waterless leaves whenever I pick them up".
    Because, yes. It's a struggle. These long, dry, hot periods.

    I have to tell you that I am savouring your beautiful stories. They fill my spirit's reservoir in this dry and fallow season. xx

  6. i love rain too,
    and snow, all the seasons bring their gifts and challenges here with deep seasons.
    so many of us have metal roofs.... i so appreciate brash heat in the deep of winter.