Clouds and the Jura in the Late Afternoon
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Walking in Heavy Rain

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I knew that it would rain heavy yesterday (at the time when you read this) so I considered running so that I would spend less time in the weather. The issue, at this time of year, is that if you run you need to do so before the sun sets but you also want to wear lighter clothes, for running to be easier.

Ready for Rain

For these reasons I went for a walk instead. I rolled up the trousers to avoid contact between the socks and trousers. I wore waterproof trousers, and a good rain coat. I walked for an hour and a half in the rain and crossed almost no one. In this weather even the dog walkers stay home. That is what I want. I like when the paths are empty of people, when I can enjoy my solitary walks in solitude, without being reminded of my isolation.

I wore barefoot shoes for this walk. They get wet almost immediately as they are not waterproof. Within 200 meters my feet were drenched. That’s what I expected. That’s what I planned for. That’s why my trousers were rolled up. I didn’t want the humidity to creep up my socks, and then my trousers, and into my t-shirt and fleece.

It worked. I stayed dry.

The Inconvenience of Touch Screen Phones When Wet

There is one challenge in such rain. When you get to the end of one podcast you need to find an underpass, or a lending library, or some other shelter. You need to dry the phone screen and your hands enough to use the phone to select the next podcast. After that you can keep walking.

For many it would seem to walk in the rain, but that’s because they don’t walk the same path every single day, for weeks or months, or even years in a row. Changes in weather are like changes in crops, changes in seasons and more. When it rains I see a different landscape. I see where the land is low, and where it is higher. I see where the water flows heavily, and where your feet remain dry.

Golden Hour

The greatest paradox is that despite the heavy rain, and the uncomfortable conditions you can still notice golden hour. As I walked today I saw that the light became more yellow, despite being under the rain. Despite the bad weather there was a discernable golden hour.

As I walked through one village I saw people burning wood in a barbecue. I don’t know whether it was to actually have a barbecue, or just to burn wood. If they were going to cook with it then it shows that the English are not the only people to barbecue in the rain.

As if that wasn’t surreal enough I also saw two children walking with someone dressed in a Santa costume. They all carried umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain. It’s not every day you see Santa walking in the rain with an umbrella.

In the end I wasn’t the only strange person out this afternoon, walking in the rain, as the heavy rain fell. If I was that type of person I would say that this walk was magical. Today was surreal, like Godard’s 1967 film, Weekend, where we see strange things as a car drives through a traffic jam.

And Finally

For many rain is an excuse to stay in. I don’t see it that way. The familiar landscape becomes unfamiliar. The rivers that were barely a trickle are now full. The water that is transparent when the rain has just started has become brown. We can see rivers of muddy water flowing from the Gravière into the river. We can see where the road is low, and water flooded onto a road, and left mud and other detritus. In another location I saw apples strewn about. The rain had made the apples float, and transported them into nearby fields where other crops were growing.

Walking during the rain is unique, and worth doing, when equipped for the weather.

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