A touch of frost, a fl urry of snow, a sudden downpour, a bracing easterly wind – a spell of inclement weather often prompts people to scurry indoors, batten down the hatches and hole up until the worst has passed. And why not? There’s a lot to be said for sitting on the sofa, mug of tea in hand, and quietly admiring frost-framed spiderwebs on a window pane or listening in wonder as the rain jolts against the roof tiles.
But this would mean missing out on all the joys of a sharp winter’s morning or an atmospherically drizzly afternoon when the senses are confronted head on – smelling the petrichor arising from damp ground, seeing all the subtleties in a grey sky, feeling one’s cheeks redden as the chill bites.
Stepping out on a tempestuous or raw day undoubtedly heightens the senses and off ers a fresh and often deeper appreciation of the natural world. Yes, it might be necessary to wear several layers topped off by a waterproof seal, but peek out from under that tightly drawn hood and think of a carpet of snow less as an obstacle to everyday plans and more as vital insulation for the soil and the creatures who depend on it. And all that rain? A precious resource that nourishes the world’s crops, sustains wildlife and keeps us all alive.
Inclement days also bestow at least two of life’s other great gifts – the opportunity to wear toasty, gripper-encased boots and throw snowballs at our nearest and dearest, and to don the wildest of wellies and jump in the biggest of puddles.
Next time the sky turns black and the clouds unleash their cargo, rather than hole up, head outside for a walk, let your hair down (it’ll get wet anyway), feel the moisture on your face and embrace your inner child. There’s plenty enough time to be grown-up, after all, and it’s the perfect reason to sink into a hot bath and warm those bones on your return.