November rain

  • Staff Illustration/Andy Castillo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/24/2020 1:30:39 PM

There’s not much in the world that’s quite as soothing as the soft patter of November raindrops landing on dried leaves or pavement. While quiet, this euphony of sounds can sweep the contemplative listener away from the bustle of street corners and the hustle of daily life.

The raindrops fell for me on Friday afternoon, periodically at first and then more regularly, in rhythm with my steps down a quiet trail near my apartment. Strangely, the sun did not hide itself behind the towering gray clouds when the rain came, but instead cast long shadows onto the pathway in front of me, making the raindrops glisten.

While some might find this rainy observation mundane, I report the development because, especially this year, I have found that even the smallest amount of nature can turn a stressful day into a calm one.

Take Thursday, for example: I logged an incredibly hectic day writing a story about “Sound of Metal” (which is really quite extraordinary, by the way), which was directed and written by Darius Marder, who grew up in Conway. At the last minute, he called to say that he couldn’t meet on Friday for photographs, as we had planned, and, instead, could only meet later that day.

For the last week or so, with COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise, I’ve been working from home. Instead of a 2 minute walk from the Recorder’s downtown offices, it was an unplanned 30 minute drive — not a problem of course, but it did add an certain amount of stress. While standing outside Greenfield Garden Cinemas waiting for Darius to arrive, a chorus of starlings began singing in a tree across Main Street. 

Their unexpected song gave me pause and, like a cold wave on a hot day at the beach, it nearly took away my breath. 

There is a certain wonder to nature that is indescribable; it’s able to penetrate our most fortified psephological defenses and it even pervades human-created environments like cities. Despite my best efforts sometimes — no matter the busyness or my day or the sourness of my mood — I have found that I cannot help but notice nature’s small blessings, like the patter of raindrops on dried leaves and the melodic sound of birdsong floating down Main Street.

Andy Castillo can be reached at


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


Copyright © 2020 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy