published Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Roberts: Somehow I learned to love the rain


by Dalton Roberts

Sitting at Karl's Family Restaurant on Hixson Pike one recent drizzly day waiting for breakfast, I heard continual grousing about "the nasty rainy day." With no air of superiority, I have to say it had the exact opposite effect on me. I had been basking in the peace from the time I awoke and tuned my spirit to the softly falling rain.

I claim no special credit for being like I am. The simple truth is that rain does that for me. As far back as my memory goes, rain has equaled peace.

I sat there wishing I could go inside people's heads and make a tiny adjustment so they could love the rain instead of disliking it. Trouble is, I do not have any recollection at all of a time I didn't love it, so I honestly am not certain what needs to be adjusted.

Maybe my attitude comes from the old memory of the times I spent the night with Lebron Sliger so I could hear the rain on their tin roof. Often when it rained, I would seek permission to spend the night with the Sligers. What a beautiful symphony the rain played on their tin roof!

I wrote a song about it:

It's a rain on a tin roof night

Everything in the world is right

Buried up to my ears in a feathertick bed

It's a rain on a tin roof night

I'll sleep like a baby 'til the morning light

And listen to angels tap dance up above my head

When I was a boy and overheard the grownups talking

How awful it was, it was gonna rain all night

I'd grin from ear-to-ear

Knowing I was gonna hear

The sound of the rain making music on the roof all night

There was a train track running back behind our home

And nothing goes better with rain than a freight train's moan

I'd hear it coming miles away

Then listen as it faded away

If anything's sweeter it's something I've never known.

Once in a poetic mood I wrote:

Days of soft gentle rain

Belong to me

For nothing else has ever stilled

The wild restless winds

That blow forever in my mind.

Maybe my savoring rain relates to the birds. They don't have the option of "dining in" when it rains. They must dine in the rain, and I love to make sure all my feeders are full and watch them.

Ed Darr and Naman Crowe call me by my Cherokee name, "Rainwalker." It is a special treat to catch the temperature just right for rain walking. I have a yellow plastic rain-walking suit that works well except when it is real cold. On a chilly day, it will hold your body heat inside and make for a pleasant walk over to the boat dock to feed the ducks.

Nothing refreshes my spirit like rain walking. The humidity is naturally high, and deep breathing seems to cleanse the lungs. Maybe I am weird, but I love the feel of cool rain on my face.

I can truthfully say with Henry David Thoreau, "For many years I was self-appointed inspector of rainstorms and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it."

No man should expect pay for such a delicious duty.

Email Dalton Roberts at DownhomeP@aol.com.

about Dalton Roberts...

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conservative said...

I love the sound of rain and when the rain wakes me up I go outside on my porch, watch it, listen to it and thank God for it.

Thank you for your story.

February 7, 2012 at 9:15 a.m.
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