Summer Storms and Windshield Wipers

It was a long uncomfortable day. It was oddly hot, feeling like a whopping 34 degrees Celsius thanks to humidity, and I just kept sweating. To make matters worse, I was stressing about a physics test I wasn’t prepared for and that was making my stomach hate me. Hot, nauseous–not a lot of fun.

I had horseback riding in the evening though, which was good. We rode outside and as the lesson progressed, we just watched the dark grey clouds roll in. The rain held off till after the lesson, when I took my sweaty horse into the barnyard to wash him off. Like a true summer storm, it was calm one moment, and then a torrential downpour the next. It felt nice, the rain cooling me down, and it helped clean my horse too. Just Mother Nature lending a helping hand, I suppose.

It was quite soothing, actually, driving home in the rain with the rhythmic windshield wipers going back and forth, rain trickling down the window glass, and the radio cranked. When I got into the driveway, I sat in the car waiting for the rain to ease a bit, and took a moment to just be there.

I felt safe in the car where the rain couldn’t get me (bad rain, bad!), lulled by its droning patter on the roof. I was in a cocoon, untouched as the humid, sticky world around me finally burst and let out its relieved tears. But even as I sat there safe, the key out of the ignition and a cozy quiet filling the car, I had this impulsive urge to turn the car back on just so I could use the wipers to clear the windshield. I wanted to see clearly, not squint through the blurry tracks the falling rain made.

And at that moment, I realized the world was indulging me in a little pathetic fallacy.

Pathetic fallacy is the literary term that refers to a writer’s use of weather to mirror the emotions and events of the story, such as using sunshine for happy scenes or rain for funerals. The storm that poured on my windshield was my own personal pathetic fallacy, expressing in one deluge all the feelings I’d had throughout the day.

I’d felt hot and sticky right from the start, ill with my stress and worry that I was going to bomb my test. It was suffocating, obsessing over it until I actually got to the point of being able to write it. And after that point, there was the downpour, when I could finally let go of the stress even though the test didn’t go that well and I really just wanted to cry.

But as I let my stress pour out, let it fall all around me while my soul crouched in its protective cocoon, I wished that I could use my windshield wipers to wipe clear my vision, to see that my day hadn’t been so bad, to see that the test wasn’t so awful and that my stress would ease soon enough because hey–it’s almost summer! As much as the rain was soothing me, it was distorting my vision and making things seem so much greyer, so much more uncertain.

I still don’t feel particularly well, nor have I let go of all my stress, but the rain helped me understand. My adventure is reaching a difficult point, one that is clouding my sight, confusing me, disheartening me. But it’s only rain.

And it’s easily wiped away.

How’s the weather looking?

May you always have a handy pair of windshield wipers, whether for your car or for your eyes.

-Alex

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7 thoughts on “Summer Storms and Windshield Wipers

  1. ‘My adventure is reaching a difficult point, one that is clouding my sight, confusing me, disheartening me. But it’s only rain.’ That’s very poignant, Alex. And beautiful. Indeed it is only rain. Let the rain wash away the pain! Like how the colours of the world seem far more vibrant after rainfall, sometimes we need a little downpour to make ourselves bright again. Besides, any raincloud is soon blown away and the sun can break through again. It’s never permanent ^^

    On a slightly different note, my English teacher at college was always pulling me up on using pathetic fallacy, and I didn’t even realise I was doing it half the time. What can I say? I’m just so in-tune with nature I don’t even notice ;)

    Here’s hoping for your sunny skies soon. You’ll be okay :)

    • Thank you :) That reminds me of the song lyrics–“let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday”–from I’m Coming Home by Skylar Grey. I love that song!

      But the world certainly did become brighter after the rain–the trees burst to life, especially the ones with flowers, and I’ve been drinking it in like never before. The rainfall made me brighter in spirit and I’m thankful for it.

      Haha, that’s great! You certainly are the naturalist :D It just feels right, doesn’t it, when a scene is in a certain weather? I would argue it’s the most powerful literary device out there, since it touches not only on sensations and sights, but emotions too.

      • I just gave that song a listen, and it seems strangely familiar somehow. Maybe I heard it somewhere once. Or maybe it’s because it reminds me of a few different songs… It is very lovely, though :) Beautiful words.

        I often think the rain painting the world does wonders for the spirit. When I was in Texas, after it had rained I didn’t get that vibrancy and brightness anywhere near as much.. Perhaps that was because Texas isn’t anywhere near as green as the UK. In which case, I am ever thankful for the gorgeous greenery my country :)

        Aha, born for nature, I was ;) Indeed, you’re right. It is a very powerful technique.

        • Hmm, perhaps you heard the rap version? She first sang it in collaboration with a rapper, then made her own version later. But yeah, it’s one of my favourites and is so relatable for the book I’m working on and how my main character feels.

          That’s a shame :/ I love seeing how green the world gets! It’s good that you live in such a green country since you’re heart’s so tied to nature :)

          • Maybe, who knows. Not that it matters :P I love it when you stumble across songs that reflect the mood/feelings/story of a character of yours. There are a few out there which remind me of Nax specifically, for some reason.

            Let’s both be thankful we don’t live in Texas, then ;) It’s good indeed. Maybe it is because of my home country I love nature so much. Who can say?

          • Yeah, it’s one of the best feelings. I love just listening to a special song and feeling my character’s spirit respond to the music. Hm, that’s interesting that it’s Nax, and not Rhu, but then again Nax does have a lot of inner conflict, doesn’t he?

            Haha yes, for sure! Perhaps indeed. You’ve certainly got a wonderfully nature-filled country.

          • I guess so. As you say, I think it’s because of Nax’s inner conflict. Fii’dezrhu is very… open… I guess, in how he’s feeling, so there aren’t really many secrets; Nax, on the other hand, bundles it all so, so deep. And because Rhu is such an open book, saying everything as it is, it’s hard to find a song that sings of his secrets, ’cause he doesn’t have any.. You know? Saying that, though: there are a few of pieces of music that make me think of Rhu’s STORY – not him as a character – because his story is a whole different matter.

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