fretting about the rain


Believe it or not people think I am a bit weird. I can hear them saying as they read this “A bit?” to celebrate weirdness today, I am going to share a secret. I like rain and I love fog.

When I was small, summers were spent in the beautiful bleak North East of England, along the coast between Lindisfarne and Alnmouth. I got to love the excitable waves that burst over the rocks, as each week went by I got closer and closer until completely soaked.

To be close to a tempestuous sea, there is a always a chance of rain. The North Sea loves to be chased by the wind and the wind pushes clouds some bearing sweet water overhead. Being showered by salt water or rainwater is invigorating and I used to relish it.

I was caught in a riptide once and almost drowned, not the only time I almost drowned but the one when I became aware of God’s presence. I never had any hesitation jumping back into the water because of this feeling of complete safety.

The North Sea creates something very special, sea frets. This phenomenon is seen elsewhere in the world but the East Coast of England has the perfect conditions for a prolonged, thick fog.

Grandma used to tell me of the fog in London, a pea-souper, that was most prevalent in autumn and winter due to the air pollution caused by every chimney hurling smoke into an already polluted sky.

Sea frets though, lasted for days and it made most people miserable. The beach was out because of the damp and there was little else to do in a fog. I, however, was enchanted by fog. I was able to get lost in the mist, the gentle covering of fine rain, it was like dancing in spiders’ webs.

Today I was reminded of these child memories as I walked along Inch beach. It rained twenty different kinds of rain. As we were in sight of the Surf School and houses it suddenly changed to extremely hard rain that was almost hail, the sky closed in and we were engulfed in mist. I could no longer see the vehicles parked on the beach and Lorelei stopped chasing around and walked at my heel.

We dug in and walked faster into the wind and I smiled, I felt like dancing – whirling around in a mad frenzy of happiness. Why?

Because I was thinking about the sea frets of my childhood and tip toeing through the mist. And I was thinking of another mist last year that displayed a spectrum across it and I was just reminded of the very personal way God allows his presence to be known.

My companions, without these memories, grumbled and moaned till we got back to civilisation, happy to get home and in the shower as quickly as possible. Me? Well I wanted to strip off and go swimming in sea.

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