It’s raining again. An intense thunderstorm is rolling through, causing my cats to hide and my dog to sit forlornly before me, his head on his paws. It has been a rainy Summer. It reminds me of many that I spent as a child, and is probably why I love rainy Summers. Let me explain.
I lived in a neighborhood with many children, most of whom loved to fill the streets, playing games and roller skating, riding bikes. Some of the more adventurous kids, mostly boys, also would venture into a wild region we all called “the jungle”, coming back with curious tales of encounters with wild animals and pirates. It was a time when childhood could stir great imaginations. From the Mickey Mouse Club and its serialized mysteries featuring the Hardy boys to all the tv programs about the pioneers who carved out the great country of which we were all so proud. Kids lived in a world where adventures were all around, and we could be anything we wanted to be.
I wanted none of the adventures of my fellow children, though. I did not like roller skating and could not seem to navigate a bike past the driveway. I also had absolutely no desire to visit “the jungle”, and to this day I have no idea what it was like, although I now know it was just an overgrown empty lot. While they were running and playing and having escapades, I was reading.
I read everything our little library in the basement of our elementary school had. When I ran out of children’s books, I began to invade the adult shelves, causing the librarian to call my mother to tell on me. I am eternally grateful that my mother’s response to her concern about a child reading adult books was that if it did not violate any library rules, she had no problem with my reading them. It opened a whole new world, and that brings me back to rainy summers and great adventures.
You see, my friends could only have their great adventures collectively, running around the neighborhood under dry skies. I had no such limitations. From my perch in the big brown rocking chair on our front porch, I could travel anywhere and experience almost anything, no matter what the weather. My adventures were limitless, appearing magically from the midst of the pages I could not turn quickly enough.
That is why I love rainy Summer days, and why the thought of a book is synonymous with adventure. That is also why I now write books of my own, hoping to pass on the possibilities that can be had on a rainy afternoon.