Rain, old friend, it’s time to talk
RAIN. My oldest friend. Can’t remember a time when it wasn’t in my life. Always there when I needed it. Integral. Life-giving.
Sometimes though we need time apart. I like to take a break from it during the summer. The occasional natter maybe. A short visit.
Meet up properly again in the autumn. But since early June rain has been hanging around way too much. Cramping my style. Being possessive and needy.
Always with the ‘where are you going?’ and ‘what about me?’
So we fell out last week. As was bound to happen.
Debs and I were in Dungarvan for a few days to take in the Greenway cycle path to Waterford city. We had heard so many positive things that we felt the urge to saddle up.
The path – scenic, mostly flat and totally traffic-free – tracks the old railway line and is really cycling for dummies like me who like to be seen to make an effort without actually enduring any of the pain.
We weren’t being ambitious either. Just the first 22km to Kilmacthomas, a lazy repast there, and then a gentle, leisurely pedal back.
But there it was. Waiting for me when I pushed open the curtains in our hotel that morning. Rain. Layers of it. That soft and dopey summer variety that doesn’t look like much but is wetter than any other brand and twice as persistent.
It gave me a wave. I didn’t wave back. We zipped up our wet gear and hoped the low, suffocating clouds took the hint and dumped on someone else’s parade.
But this deluge wasn’t going anywhere. More a stalker than a real friend, it stayed with us every inch of the way.
Fourteen or so kilometres out, just beyond Durrow and the ghostly remnants of its old railway station, we stopped and considered our options.
There were only two. Deny the misery, pretend we were enjoying ourselves and continue to push through this eternal blanket of grey wet. Or turn our back on it and return to the hotel and its dry, warm bar.
It took us all of five-and-a-half seconds to agree on the latter. The rain running off my helmet was dribbling down my neck and back. I could feel the squelch of water in my runners. There was no feeling in the tips of my fingers.
Debs, who by instinct and reputation is no quitter, was just as sodden and as eager for the gentle slope home.
The rain, dogged as ever, was on our shoulder all the way back to Dungarvan, with no appreciation that it had washed out a special day. Not a drop of remorse.
We’re not on talking terms now. It owes me a summer. It owes us all one.