Friday, January 10, 2020

Water, Water Everywhere

The sky darkened and with no more warning than a single roll of thunder, the rain began. It washed down the roof, overflowing the gutters and splattering through the screens to wet the bricks of the patio.

We quickly moved the seat cushions to the other side of the porch but I left one on a wicker chair. I love summer storms and wasn’t about to huddle inside. Rain continued hard enough to wash away the spilled charcoal dust from the grill where my birthday dinner had been cooked. The remnants of the party disappeared, but not the warm feelings of contentment I tucked away in my heart. 

The rain lessened then grew stronger again and yet the sun shone on a patch of green grass along the side of the house. Pitter-patter; drip-drip. You know what it sounds like running down the gutter pipes and dripping off the house. If it continues, I will sleep out on the porch tonight. I can’t hear the rain inside behind bricks and insulation. It reminds me of summers past, camping at the lake in a canvas tent. “Don’t touch the roof,” Dad admonished as it would make the canvas leak. Yet someone invariably would. If there wasn’t lightning, we’d play in the rain; even swim in the lake. After all, it was summer and we were at the lake to get wet.

Another round, coming hard enough to rush down the street like an overflowing river. A curtain, obscuring the trees across the way. The smell of rain. You can’t describe it but anyone else will understand exactly what you mean.

“Why are you out here?” my grandson asked.
“Writing about the rain.”
“Because I love a good storm.”
I recently read a book about how water can make you happier, healthier and of a better frame of mind. While most of the book was more scientific than I could understand, the gist was that we need water in our lives. Not only to drink, but to be near, in, on or even under water. While I don’t live near a body of water, I realized how often I write about water in its various forms in my novels.

“Hold on to the Past” takes place on a river. “Spinning through Time” has a dramatic and tragic scene on a frozen pond.
“Prelude and Promises” is set on a small island, thus surrounded by water. “A Game of Love”, set in Boston, has a close connection to the Boston Harbor. And the list goes on.

I also love writing thunderstorms into my novels; water cutting rivulets down a dirt street; ominous cracks of thunder awakening my characters in the middle of a dark night. You don't have to wait for the next time it rains to curl up with a copy of “Love in Disguise” and find out just how diverting the rain can be when it keeps Max and Abby from pursuing a killer.

Best wishes for a wildly wet new year!
Barbara Baldwin


  1. I love being near water. At present I live on the Hudson River where it's the widest and often walk to the end of the street and just stare at the river. Keep writing

    1. I envy you. I think if I had a choice, I would live near a river or stream rather than the ocean.


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