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.


8 comments:

  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.

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

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  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.

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  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 :)

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    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!

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  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

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  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.

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