Soft Rains and Healthy Brains

While enjoying the sound of a soft rain outside my window, I looked for articles that explain my sense of euphoria with each passing storm.

hummingbird-in-the-rain

Anna’s Hummingbird having a drink at one of the feeders

Apparently I’m a pluviophile!

According to an article in LifeHack

People who love rain bask in their experiences. They can describe the rain in vivid detail, from the mesmerizing pitter-patter sound, to the hypnotic way each drop magnifies and changes the scenery on the other side of the window pane. Pluviophiles appreciate the scent of a fresh storm and the delicious feel of water dripping down their skin. They even know the taste of fresh drops as they look upwards with arms outstretched and welcome a cool drink from the clouds.

It’s nice to be understood. There are dozens of articles on the mood-altering effects of rain, most of them describing how people feel sad or out of sorts when it rains.

curb-garden-variegated-plant-in-rainIt took some digging to find an article supporting my rain-loving ways. I quickly forwarded a copy to my older son. He’s home from college for the Thanksgiving break, and heads out the door every time it rains. He loves it as much as I do.

My garden certainly appreciates the rain. The plants stand a little taller, grateful for the cleansing rinse. Leaves brighten to a shiny green as the plant’s roots welcome the long, steady drink.

sweet-peas-after-a-rain

Sweet Peas, blooming for the second time this year

This Anna’s hummingbird took a shower from the branches of the Chinese Pistache. Apparently he’s a pluviophile too.

Anna's hummigbird in the rain

Male Anna’s Hummingbird enjoying the rain

Post-Election Processing

I read a blog post this weekend that resonated with me, so I’m sharing it here. Martha Brettschneider writes of the benefits of mindfulness to help us process and move forward in a positive way.

She described the election outcome as triggering a sense of β€œsocial mistrust.”

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal explains that social mistrust is a stress response to not feeling safe, respected, or valued in our community. It’s a deeper, more toxic level of stress than your normal everyday stress, with even stronger physiological impacts on our health and well-being.

You can read the full article here.

Martha discusses ways to transform your stress from “paralyzing to empowering.” If you’ve been struggling with this as I have, than this article is for you..

I’ve done a number of things in the past ten days along these lines. I’ll share more in a future post.

45 thoughts on “Soft Rains and Healthy Brains

  1. Thanks for sharing that, Alys. I’ll pop over in the morning to have a look. I’m coming out of it but not before I hung up on my son and told him I wanted to hear not another word. Thought I would pop a vein. He didn’t see that coming. 😦 I LOVE the rain too. I could listen to it and watch it for hours. I’m in the right place for certain. You would think I’d grow tired of it but I never do. I loved the snow too but could no longer do the shoveling in 6 feet of it. It’s all so peaceful. Nice to know they have a word for that. Hugs, M

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    • Oh dear, Marlene. Things must have been really bad for you to hang up on your son. I understand these emotional challenges. It’s really tough.

      I don’t think I would tire of the rain either, because it doesn’t really stop me from doing most things. I’ve been know to pull weeds in the rain and I certainly enjoy walking in it. Driving I could do without, but mostly because drivers don’t know to slow down or to behave differently on slick roads. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, what a terrific piece. Thanks for pointing me in Danny’s direction.

      I know you’ve lived through drought years, so you get how precious the rain is when it finally shows up. I’ve loved rain all my life, but living in California for most of it means I’m spoiled with soft, warm rains most of the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm, I love Summer rain as it’s warm and rejuvenating and we often go outside to enjoy it. Winter rain is a whole different ball game as it is associated with unpleasantness. Flooding is bad in the UK at the moment, with ‘puddles’ being higher than car bonnets and causing massive damage and disruption. Can I be a fair weather Pluviophile?! I’m glad you’ve found a way to come to terms with your feelings over the recent political events:)

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    • I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing flooding again, Sheila. I think that was a problem last year as well. We get very little of the cold, driving rain, but I’ve been in that too so I know and understand the difference. Yes, you can absolutely be a fair weather Pluviophile!

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  3. That whole idea of social mistrust is fascinating–I have been suspicious of almost everyone I’ve some in contact with lately. But I have also had some pleasant surprises, to learn that I’m not alone and some people I had pegged as “his” supporters are, in fact, as horrified as I am! I like rain, too, though probably not to the degree you, and that sweet hummingbird, do! We are starting to get our rain in the form of snow . . .

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  4. Hubs and I have been participating in a mindfulness program (meditation); it does help reduce stress and also makes you a calmer, more centred person. It’s a good thing to practice, no matter what the political climate.

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    • Sara, good for you! And I agree, mindfulness and mediation make for calmer, more centered people. It’s amazing that we can bring 0urselves to such a calm center with nothing more than focused breathing and inner stillness.

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  5. Nope, don’t really share this love with you – not after the big wet we have struggled through. I know though that when it is hot and dry and there comes that welcome little break in the form of rain that freshens everything up and makes your nose twitch with the abundance of scents released from nature ………. that is truly delightful!!

    I’m glad you have found some words you can resound with and find comfort in. It is important, however we all do it, to come back into balance and relieve ourselves of stress. Lets all focus on what we want to see happen, (not what we don’t want) then optimism, hope and action can all come to the fore and we are empowered once more. xoxo

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  6. So glad you are getting rain Alys. Ours has finally stopped, so I could get out and do some final tidying today. That was a good feeling, being outdoors again, but now I ache all over! LOL!

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    • I’m glad you’re getting a break from the rain, Cathy. I’m sure it can be quite tedious when you get so much of it, so much of the time. We treasure every drop (or at least I do). I’m still amazed when I hear people complain about the rain, though five years into this drought and that complaining is fewer and farther each passing month.

      I hope you found a hot bath to soothe your sore muscles.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You know, I like rain too. That scent when first hits–like river on dry rock–is called petrichor (Greek: petra being stone and chor being the blood of the gods–think of that!!!). There is something restful about rain and I love the smells. In your neck of the woods, they are likely to be manifold when it rains. I love the dry scents of California–the air there is amazing (and I have to admit to being doglike in that I smell the air every time I go out, anywhere). Years ago, when I was a child, my father was raking the yard in the fall. It was a warm day after a series of cold ones and there was a scent in the air. I remember him pausing when I came out and saying “It’s just balmy,” with a sort of sense of wonder. To this day I associate the word balmy, which is about temperature, with a scent I noticed on that day. Probably it isn’t a scent you get in California, but it’s one replicated on certain days in most autumns in the east. Thanks for a lovely blog about rain.

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    • Ah! Another rain-lover. Lisa I’ve heard that term before but had forgotten it. Did you blog about petrichor once upon a time? Or perhaps I heard it in an NPR story? I think they were interviewing a woman from India who said they had bottled the scent. Sign me up!

      I agree that rain is restful and restorative. I love the air leading up to the storms too, far more than the air after the rains depart.

      It’s funny what you say about the scent of our air. I notice it whenever I’ve been away. It feels like home, but I’ll have to work at identifying it even further then next time I return home from a trip. I loved hearing about your special memories of a balmy day with your dad. I could even picture my own father raking leaves when you told your story. We could go back and forth like this for awhile, triggering each others memories. Ahhhhh. Thank you, Lisa.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m really happy to hear you’re getting rain and even more happy to know that you’re happy πŸ˜€ That’s a whole bunch of happy! LOL. I can hardly believe you’re getting sweet peas again! In November (almost December)! You have the magic touch, that’s for certain. I miss them so much in the winter months here. I read Lisa’s message up there and snickered. Because I was thinking of today being balmy here. It was 4 C and it felt so nice in the sun. Although I missed most of the day since I was at Urban. I’m sure by now you’re in bed but I hope you have a wonderful visit over the weekend with your men and continue to enjoy these less heated days in sunny California. They’re such a gift. xo Love and Hugs K

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    • Thank you, hon. I do love the rain, and I’m happy to report that another storm is due sometime early Saturday morning. Are you still enjoying mild weather or is the snow falling again? It’s crazy to see those sweat peas up for a second time this year. I’ve never seen anything like it. I scattered the seeds liberally last spring after the plants were spent, and I also harvested many of the seeds for planting. I tucked in a number of seeds in the back garden and hope they’ll be equally prolific. Your gift keeps on giving! Thank you once again.

      You are working so hard at Urban and I know retail in general is crazy busy this time of year. I didn’t step foot in a shop today, though Mike ventured out for a couple of supplies from the hardware store. Yikes! It’s been great to have everyone home this week (the boys since Monday, Mike from Thursday through Sunday).

      I love balmy weather, which to me is warm and damp but in a tropical way, much like you would find in Hawaii or Mexico before or after a rain.

      Love you, xo

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      • It has been busy, and that’s great for Lori. We didn’t do a Black Friday. Some Big Box stores do here. Mostly if they’re also a franchise south of the boarder. Lot’s of people called about it but really, Lori’s a private business owner and our stuff isn’t marked up enough to do crazy deals that people expect. Plus we usually do Boxing Day Sales in Canada, so that’s like a double down. Any who, we had Art Bar tonight and it was a big class. Poor Lynette has a bum knee and could hardly walk. But she’s a trooper and managed to teach. I didn’t get home till 1am and now I’m ready for bed……nighty, night x

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        • I am so over the whole Black Friday thing. It puts undo pressure on small businesses, most of whom are living month to month. Our local store struggles as well, with the added burden of crazy rents. Many small businesses are simply being priced out the door. It’s shameful. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know greed plays a part.

          You are a trooper!

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  9. So grateful for the raindrops in your garden, Alys! I love the sound of raindrops and always welcome a quiet, ‘inside’ day when it rains here. Thank you for sharing the mindfulness piece today. Can’t wait to read it! Mindfulness is always such an important practice. I, too, have been looking for positive ways to move forward after the election. You are such a dear one, Alys! β™‘

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    • Thank you, Dawn. It hasn’t been an easy time, has it? Each day more news and more discouragement. I’m attending another meeting tonight at Sacred Heart for ways to be a part of the solution. Big hugs to you, Dawn, today an always.

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  10. I think I’m a pluviophile as well. Within reason – last winter where it rained every day for over a month was far too much! I guess being on the verge of starved of rain in San Jose, it must be doubly appealing when it does fall 😊.

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