Writer: Melissa Harrison
Publishing House: Faber & Faber
Date of Publication:March 3rd 2016
Rating: 5 stars
‘’The village is far behind me now, its squat church tower lost in trees. The lane I walk is flanked by hawthorn hedges, and on the regress glossy hart’s tongue fens funnel the rain so it paddles in their centres where the new fronds unfurl. There are bluebells, too, not the pushy, varicoloured hybrids that colonise my London garden, but English bluebells hung with silver drops, delicately drooped like a shepherd’s cloak, and with a curious luminosity to their cobalt flowers.’’
Rain…one of the greatest gifts of Nature to her children. It nourishes and refreshes us. It creates a unique coziness that elevates our souls. And let us not forget that rain is a dream for us readers. However, rain can also turn into a strange enemy. Its ferocity combines with the endless ways we daily ravage Nature can lead to devastating results.
Walking in the rain is an experience in itself. Whether in a downpour or a drizzle, the smell of the trees, the sound of raindrops falling on our umbrellas, the pitter-patter on the roofs, our hasty steps on the pavements, whether in a hurry or a casual walk, rain is there to remind us of how alive Nature is, defining our moments. In Britain, rain has become a landmark. Speaking from personal experience, walking in the streets of London while the rain is falling is hard to describe. Imagine walking in the haunting British nature…
Melissa Harrison shares four walks in English weather, along with her thoughts on rain, its power, its whimsical tricks and its influence on our lives. Wicker Fen, Shropshire, the Darent Valley, and Dartmoor, from January to October, Melissa Harrison leads us over the fens and moors, echoing the thunderclouds that have provided material for myths and folk wisdom for centuries.
Embellished with a glossary of 100 words concerning rain and related meteorological terms, this book asks you to curl up, preferably during a rainy afternoon, and let yourselves wander the moors in the finest company.
‘’And there’s something else that rain gives us; something deeper and more mysterious, to do with memory, and nostalgia, and a pleasurable kind of melancholy. Perhaps there have simply been too many novels with storm-drenched emotional climaxes, and too many films in which sad protagonists look out through rain-streaked windows, but it seems to me that rain is a mirror of one of our key emotional states: not a negative one at all, but deeply necessary- just as necessary as joy.’’