The sound of rain falling is likely my favorite sound in the entire world. When I was a little girl I remember curling up on the couch in my stepfather’s living room and listening to the rain beat down on the old tin roof. He had one of those super charming houses dating from somewhere near abouts the 1920s. Of course at the time I thought it was a ramshackle structure built without a dishwasher purely to torment me. Now that I’m older (as with many things) I can appreciate the quaintness, and the character, and the smells.
Like the smell of the basement. Old, musty and earthy. The walls surrounding the stairs leading into the basement were mostly hard-packed red clay, and the room to the right of the stairs is where he kept his various tools, and later his wine fermentation room. I used to dream about the stairs leading into that basement, and in my dreams they led down into endless tunnels which I would explore for hours. There were doors upon doors, each one holding the promise of a secret treasure just waiting to be found.
Once the rains would clear, the next best smells could be found strolling through the garden. I always knew when my stepfather started to build one of his bonfires in the yard, as I would be lured by the smoke. It was full of bite, rich and woody. I was enchanted by the flames – loved watching the fire dance and consume. He used to call me a little fire bug.
After a day spent climbing to the top of the large magnolia which hugged the side of the house (I was never quite brave enough to jump over to the roof), picking fresh blackberries off the vine, and searching the pond for frogs, it was the best feeling to fall into the hammock and watch the stars while slowly rocking back and forth, one foot lightly pushing off the ground to maintain a steady rhythm.
It amazes me how restless I felt as a child without the comforts of a TV or computer – forced to entertain myself with nothing but nature. Now as an adult constantly berated by technology and spending my days inside an office, I relish the peace I remember finding out at that house. When I close my eyes and go to my happy place, it’s always that hammock, that garden, those trees, that musty basement, and the sound of the rain on that old tin roof.