Wilton Warrior Words — Walking in the rain
Half of my childhood was spent on camping trips, and of these sacred family excursions, my favorites were always the ones where it rained. The stormier the nighttime weather, the happier I was, bundled in four layers of jumpers and blankets, tucked in my sleeping bag, smiling uncontrollably at the sound of raindrops on a tent roof.
I am still overwhelmingly partial to the rain, quickly and passionately coming to its defence whenever a classmate complains about the weather. Although my frequent assertions that “I love the rain” aren’t typically met with tremendous agreement, I stand by them, reminding people what a wonder it truly is. I actively avoid walking my dog unless it’s raining outside. I crack open my windows during windy late-night showers. The only time I relish five-hour college-visit car rides is when I get to stare angstily out the window as it’s pummeled by what borders on a hurricane. I wish it rained more often.
It seems as though no matter where I go, no matter how old I am, the rain follows me; not in a creepy way, but in a comforting and omnipresent way. As I fall asleep to the gentle and rhythmic thump of raindrops on my bedroom window in Wilton, I remember what it was like to be a kid on a camping trip thousands of miles away from Connecticut. Somehow, my childhood memories are linked to something as universal as rain, a natural phenomenon that should theoretically bear no special connection to my life. It evokes happiness, it evokes nostalgia, and I can say with almost absolute certainty that it is bound to return at some point in the future.
Although I make a great effort to suppress the thought of college (and consequently the independence for which I am doubtfully prepared), I am consoled by the ever present company of the rain. It grounds me. At university, when I am plagued with the inevitable pangs of homesickness, I imagine the rain as my solace. My future self, pacing her college dorm, (pondering some complicated theological principle, I’m sure), will inevitably miss her family, and the rain will serve to remind her that they aren’t actually gone for good. There will be other camping trips, other dog walks, other car rides, and even on the day when there won’t be, there will be memory.
I acknowledge that I, like everyone, am conditioned to enjoy the sentimental, but that’s part of being human. We love to remember. We love to revel in our childhoods. We love knowing that something good happened to us. We love to relive that good thing. For me, the rain is a bridge to the past that not only sustains this love, but that pushes me to make life an adventure. I know that no matter what I do with my future, I can, to a small extent, hold onto my past. Why not take a risk? There will always be family. There will always be memory. There will always be rain.
Niamh McCarthy is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with three classmates.