Sunny days at the cottage are great, but there’s something to be said for a good cottage-country downpour. Rain at the cottage can be divided into four distinct categories:
The overnighter. This is a light rain that starts just as the campfire is dying down, and then wakes you periodically during the night. But rather than frustrating you, the quiet night-time tapping on the cottage roof is reassuring, because it reminds you that you don’t have to work tomorrow.
The cabin-shaker. You hear it before you see it. One moment, you’re on the dock with a half-finished drink. The sun is beating down and this afternoon might last forever. Then come the faraway rumbles. Then a giant anvil-shaped cloud turns the sky green. Then comes the smell that always precedes a big storm by about 30 seconds. Suddenly, everyone’s frantically gathering their flip-flops and towels, sprinting back to the cottage as disturbingly large drops begin to land. The next half-hour is spent with noses pressed against windows, watching fork lightning and hoping that the big tree out front won’t come down.
The closing curtain. This one is surreal, and can only really be appreciated if your vantage point is by a large lake or open field. From far away, you can see the rain coming down in graceful sheets, and for a brief moment you experience the strange sight of a curtain of rain moving towards you.
The vertical hot tub. On the hottest days, the rain is a welcome relief. After three-day stretches of brutal heat and sunburn, the heavens open, and you don’t even run for cover. There’s no lightning, no wind, and it’s even still hot somehow. But you’re happy to lie on a deck chair and be wonderfully drenched.
If there are any lazy cottage days in your near future, I highly recommend the skillfully sedated beats of LA’s Safe Neighbor.
What makes this a beautiful song:
1. The way the piano sample lags behind the percussion, like a reluctant hat, precariously perched on the head of someone sleeping in a beach chair.
2. The snare drum is a finger snap. Or, if you use your imagination, it’s the sound of a bottle of sunscreen snapping closed.
3. The final cadence has the lazy landing of a tired traveler settling into a cottage couch.
Recommended listening activity:
Doing a jigsaw puzzle while sitting by a rainy window.