Before I had this blog, I had the Scarlet Letters.

I wrote a regular column in college and later for my first paper. Then I went online, writing my own webzine with a weekly column, news roundup, quote of the week... sound familiar? :)

Anyway, I recently found the Scarlet Letters. Wow, I was YOUNG. Because I live to humiliate myself, I think I'll share some of my columns from the dim dark years of my youth.

Dr. Mom, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rain
(c) 1998

Rain makes me think about my mother.

Whoa! Stop, don't run away yet. I swear, this isn't a whiny, Freudian, weirdo-on-the-analysis-couch rant about my mom. I have a point here. Bear with me.

When I was a kid, I noticed that my mom was always in a good mood when it rained. I'd be sitting at the kitchen table after school, staring out the window with that woe-is-me expression that can only be mastered by bored kids, and she'd be baking something and humming perfectly in key (Mom is a musician) and I'd think she was nuts.

How could anyone be in a good mood on a rainy day? Rain was icky and cold. Rain got into my sneakers and soaked my socks until they stank when I got home. The rain always got inside my backpack and got my favorite books wet, and let me tell you, nobody messed with my books when I was a kid.

Rain was gray and depressing, and worst of all, you couldn't go out and play. So I thought she was nuts.

When I got older, I thought of rain differently. I was a theatre major, and actors and artists really look at the world a different way than normal people do (theatre folks, don't slam me for that, I was once one of you, so I get to say this stuff).

Rain brought a damper to the inner spirit. It embodied the death part of the death-life-death cycle, and reminded me of my own mortality. Rain symbolized a lessening of the essential life force within a human spirit, and darkened the aura, and so on and so forth.

I was nuts.

But my mother still loved the rain. She was far more likely to leave a chipper message on my answering machine on a rainy day, and I'd drop by and she'd have a fire going (in the fireplace, silly) and smile far too cheerfully for such a dismal day. I thought she was nuts.

After all these years, I think I finally understand why she loves the rain. This is nothing she told me, you see, just what I started to understand.

My mother knew that rain did indeed mean death. But she was a mother, and mothers understand life and death a little better than the rest of the population. They have an intimate experience with the creation of life. My mother understood that a little death is necessary for a rebirth.

So now, whenever it rains, I think about my mother, and the lessons she taught me without saying a word.


  1. Being in the kitchen reminds me of my mother.


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