I took the ferry into town today. The crossing of the heads was rough, casting up salt spray to mingle with the rain on the window panes and obscure the view. So I made the most of the journey, taking a few photos and reading my book.
I’ve been working my way through The Elegance of the Hedgehog, about a conscierge in Paris and the characters that live in the apartments above. Muriel Barbery’s observations on life and culture are insightful and a delight to read.
As it happened, I was up to the chapter about summer rain as I was returning home.
Do you know what a summer rain is?
To start with, pure beauty striking the summer sky, awe-filled respect absconding with your heart, a feeling of insignificance at the very heart of the sublime, so fragile and swollen with the majesty of things, trapped, ravished, amazed by the bounty of the world.
And then, you pace up and down a corridor and suddenly enter a room full of light. Another dimension, a certainty just born. The body is no longer a prison, your spirit roams the clouds, you possess the power of water, happy days are in store, in this new birth.
Just as teardrops, when they are large and round and compassionate, can leave a long strand washed clean of discord, the summer rain as it washes away the motionless dust can bring to a person’s soul something like endless breathing.
That is the way a summer rain can take hold in you – like a new heart, beating in time with another’s.