Today’s Forecast: 90% Probability of Rain

Nobody in Faha could remember when it started. Rain there on the western seaboard was a condition of living. It came straight-down and sideways, frontwards, backwards and any other wards God could think of. It came in sweeps, in waves, sometimes in veils. It came dressed as drizzle, as mizzle, as mist, as showers, frequent and widespread, as a wet fog, as a damp day, a drop, a dreeping, and an out-and-out downpour. It came the fine day, the bright day, and the day promised dry. It came at any time of the day and night, and in all seasons, regardless of calendar and forecast, until in Faha your clothes were rain and your skin was rain and your house was rain with a fireplace. It came off the grey vastness of an Atlantic that threw itself against the land like a lover once spurned and resolved not to be so again. It came accompanied by seagulls and smells of salt and seaweed. It came with cold air and curtained light. It came like a judgement, or, in benign version, like a blessing God had forgotten he had left on. It came for a handkerchief of blue sky, came on westerlies, sometimes – why not? – on easterlies, came in clouds that broke their backs on the mountains in Kerry and fell into Clare, making mud the ground and blind the air. It came disguised as hail, as sleet, but never as snow. It came softly sometimes, tenderly sometimes, its spears turned to kisses, in rain that pretended it was not rain, that had come down to be closer to the fields whose green it loved and fostered, until it drowned them. All of which, to attest to the one truth: in Faha, it rained. But now, it had stopped.

~ Niall Williams, “This Is Happiness” (Bloomsbury Publishing; December 3, 2019)

Photo: “All it ever does is rain” by Alan Schaller (via thisisn’thappiness)


  1. and the green, oh the green –

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Especially the green.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sunlight was flooding in. Like a blessing, the sunshine had come in time for Easter and that springtime remedy which in Faha was called airing… Now, every window was open. Curtains, by pyjama cord, trouser belt, braces, frayed lengths of sugan, were tied up, not only to let the fresh air in and the dust out, but also to let go of the wintering, because God, whose mercy was never in doubt, had finally forgiven what sins the parish had amassed, and turned off the rain. Not that it was a magnificent day now. I don’t mean that. Just that there was light and a lightening, a lifting, and when I stepped outside the air had the slender, quickened and hopeful spirit that is in the word April. Since early morning Doady and Ganga had been emptying the house of all clothes and soft furnishings. As though parked there by flying Persians, mats and carpets were lying about the yard. Blankets, pillows and cushions were scattered along form-benches. Across every bush were spread not only sheets, towels, teacloths, but, with an absence of restraint and even an air of display, knickers and underpants, slips, tights and other sundries. Drawers had been emptied. Things hitherto unseen were disporting themselves like sunbathers, the entire garden colourfully draped and looking as though partaking in a pagan custom, like the hanging of lights on trees.

      ~ Niall Williams, “This Is Happiness” (Bloomsbury Publishing, December 3, 2019)

      Liked by 5 people

  2. What a glorious tour de force of description! “…as drizzle, as mizzle, as mist…” The Atlantic throwing itself against the land like a lover scorned, the clouds breaking their backs on the mountains in a Kerry, etc. This passage is so yummy I read it three times. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  3. At the outset, the rhythm reminded me of a wistful adult remembering Dr. Seuss – the gorgeous simplicity of the construction encased in magnificent imagery. Have to put this in the queue

    Liked by 1 person

  4. May the rain gods bless us all….. and bring a brolly! I’m enjoying excerpts from this book. Thanks David 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not sure if it will be temporary, or permanent, but the link to my blog is now: My domain expired!?! 😦 At this point is is expensive to purchase again. Hopefully this won’t interrupt your receiving of my posts. Sorry for whatever inconvenience it causes you. Any recommendations would be welcomed, as well. Marland

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is unlike anything I ever read about rain.

    1. It reminds me of a Forrest Gump scene.

    2. Can’t get over the book’s title This is Happiness, and the photo source This isn’t Happiness.

    3. Photo, I want to walk into it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We crave sunshine – until we get a heat wave and drought. Then we’re thankful for the rain – until we start growing moss under our armpits and the rivers flood everywhere. I suppose moderation is too boring. Right now, I’m thankful that the rain isn’t snow. Having said that, I should go dig out my toque (tuk) and mitts.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I had this discussion yesterday, in the car, regarding ‘exactly THAT’ – and it wasn’t in conjunction with your today’s post (scary, ain’t it?)
    There was this guy who couldn’t understand that others weren’t as enchanted with the rain happening as he was. He would run out and put his face towards the falling rain, wanted, had to feel the water running down his face, thanked the Gods for it, every time, even when he lived in a wet country of America – because never, NEVER would he take rain as a bad omen. He was coming from a land with droughts, with no rain for years….
    Why did we have this discussion? Because we were driving (trying to) some 900km in dismal circumstances. There are strikes everywhere in France, the roads were clogged with cars, it was pouring down, heavy winds, tons of lorries, and many of the cars not equipped with the correct tyres and/or no knowledge of driving in such weather. It was getting dark at 4pm, night was ‘on’ at 5pm, blinding lights coming towards us, us blinding others….. We said; aren’t we lucky to have learned to drive in all weather, we have a safe car, Hero Husband is a very good driver (I’m blind as a bat so no help here….) – and then I told that story I read about a few days back… And now we have a super ‘cool’ addendum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and the Hero. Unstoppable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😉
        Maybe not unstoppable, but always available for a spot of discussion, dissent, verbal exchange – often about language matters and the very different disception (discernment) of words, expressions. HH is a mimosa when it comes to feeling insulted about a term that I use in German and which has no problem zones at all in our understanding.
        So YES, even the word rain can (and would) lead to A Whole Exchange Of Philosophy and more in our couple.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. We need more rain

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I read this exact passage!!! within the past few days…you’ve been sharing some excerpts of Niall Williams…I decided to find out about him…and read some samples of his online…when I was a child I’d pray that it would only rain at night…it was hard to play outside when it rained heavy so you’d play inside or on the neighbors porch…nothing like being wet, chilled to the bone…leaving a trail, dipping through the house, depositing wet clothes in the bathroom, drying off, putting on dry clothes carrying wet shoes… sharing the floor registrar blowing warm air… with the shoes …

    Liked by 2 people

  11. those Irish have a way with words!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sounds like the Pacific Northwest

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely image…smiles from snowy etown ❄️🌬❄️

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: