The walk from the studio down William Street to the city CBD is one I love at any time, but I especially love it in the rain. Tonight the rain was teeming down. There was no wind, and the rain was the sort of warmish rain that is the best. The rain was streaming past the streetlights. That is a special delight seeing the rainwater turned into a stream of cascading jewels as if it is a sparkling carnival necklace draped around the lights.
As I walked past the Cathedral the bells were peeling and that itself gained a surreal quality as deep chimes of the big bells danced it time with the rhythmic plittering and plattering of rain in the street. Even the cars join into the chorus as the normal car sounds are modified by the swishes and sloshes of the wheels in the river of water on the road surface.
Ultimately, however, the greatest joy is the colors and the lights reflected from the sidewalks and street surfaces that turn the normal street view into a work of impressionistic art. Everything looks so different. The night rain increases the contrasts so there are more darks and grays so that the colors of tail lights and traffic lights increase in intensity and then are doubled as reflections mirror an up world with a matching down world.
I hear people complain about the rain and I wonder why. Can they not see the mysterious poetry that envelops the skyscrapers in the rain, the change that overtakes them as their tops disappear into the low cloud and they become like trunks of trees in a gray forest holding the sky up. Do they not see the softening of the world that occurs like some giant Pissarro had taken his paint brush to the city.
I think it is beautiful and I love rain so much I wish it rained like this often enough to satisfy the poet in my heart. Where I grew up in North Queensland in the rainforest near Ravenshoe it rained on average 120 days a year. That is one day in three and I never tired of the misty beauty that would come into the mountains and valleys and all the inevitable results like all the waterfalls, and the emerald green color of the grass and the way everything always had a luxuriant feeling of growth. Rain in the city has a different feel to in the rainforest and is much more about light and colors. It is a creator of a different kind of magic, and I love it just as much or more.