I used to love the sound of rain.
It would rain and the soft pad of it hitting the leaves in the garden outside my window would soothe and heal the day’s stresses and woes.
But when it rained hard,
That’s when my body would tense up and hope that it would end quickly,
Because the rain would come through my windows and into my living area.
I remember the first time it happened.
I was counselling a girl in my lounge room about some of the choices she was making,
It was getting pretty serious.
The rain stormed through the tops of my living room windows,
And the conversation was over,
Suddenly and without any warning.
And all we could do was race and grab towels and mop puddles of water and wonder at what had just happened.
I remember that my face was flushed red and hot,
Awash with feelings of shock and vulnerability and disbelief.
It had rained inside my house.
I wasn’t prepared for this,
Nor had I invited or solicited it in any way…
When the rain subsided,
I distinctly remember feeling like I had been assaulted.
Much like a victim,
I felt open and exposed
And I questioned my safety
And I wondered if I would ever be able to feel the beauty of rain again in the same way.
This shouldn’t have happened, I remember thinking to myself.
This is wrong.
I didn’t ask for this,
Nor have I done anything to deserve having ‘the house that gets the rain inside it!’
I’ve ended up on the wrong side of justice, I thought.
And of safety and peace.
While rain belting down on my roof may not sound too bad,
It has now become the sound of intrusion and invasion,
No longer serenity and soothing.
My once familiar, calming soundscape has changed forever,
Well, for as long as I live in this house.
I had to grapple with the newness of rain suddenly becoming a threat.
My gut reaction,
I got angry every time it rained,
Because I knew that it was unsettling the equilibrium of my home.
It was an unwelcome foe.
The rain was no longer my companion.
You see, my roof is so large that the gutters can’t contain it on this particular side of the house,
So it has nowhere else to go but inside.
After countless visits from roof carpenters etc
There were temporary fixes but nothing substantial,
I realised that I would have to live with this problem,
And that made me mad.
I didn’t want to.
I got angry.
I started blaming.
Roof carpenters, builders, the previous owners,
Anyone I could for my problem.
I wanted to sell up and run away.
Buy another house.
I got scared.
Scared every time it would rain that it would cause chaos.
I felt ripped off,
Because my ability to enjoy what was once one of my favourite things had been stripped away.
Now, it was a burden and had become nightmarish,
Associated with fear and annoyance, sadness and inconvenience.
When we are forced to live with problems out of our control,
Like our rebellious teen,
Like rheumatoid arthritis,
Or the refugee crisis,
Or spouses who have found another one,
Other than you,
Like a faulty roof,
Like all the things we can’t get a quick fix for,
Or any fix for that matter,
We learn to develop strategies that lessen the impact of the problem.
We also learn to embrace the rain, and realise that even if it is falling inside your house, rather than outside,
You have grown because of it,
You have overcome because of it,
You have developed resilience,
Having lived with this issue for the most part of 7 years,
I now have a strategy.
As soon as I hear the rain start to pour that bit harder,
I run to the linen cupboard,
Gather about 6 towels and toss them at the base of where the rain comes in.
I leave them there and let them soak up the puddles.
When its done, I put them in the wash.
And its over.
I know, I’d rather I didn’t have to do this,
But really, it’s ok.
It could be worse.
It’s an inconvenience that I have had to learn to manage.
No I don’t like it,
But there are many things in our lives that we don’t like,
But have no power over.
The best we can do is be resourceful,
Embrace the journey,
Not let it overwhelm us or control us,
Or most importantly,
Steal our joy.
We must understand that the intrusion of rain on our roof from time to time,
But it doesn’t constitute anything more than that.
It is something that will come,
And being the incredible women we are,
We will manage it.
Tomorrow, I have another roof carpenter coming to look at my roof.
I’ll keep you posted. 🙂