A dappled swan in the Rhône river in lyon
Walking by the Rhône on a rainy day in Lyon

One of life's small pleasures is to take a walk in the rain.

Now, imagine you are walking a cobbled way, under bare branches, past grand buildings, all the while a river runs beside you. It is deep and swift, and the rain barely makes a mark on its granite surface.

You pass a group of tourists huddled under colourful umbrellas, learning about a hallowed statue of someone-or-other. An empty skate ramp lies to your left, one that on sunny days would be filled with teenagers and the clickety clack of wheels. Now all is silent with the rain. It drips off of twigs onto your hair and into your jacket if your hood is down. You neglected to wear a rain jacket - wool works just fine. 

You stop by your favourite patisserie, the one that makes those perfect tartes with the custard and the raspberries. Walking out with the paper bag, you know the perfect place to eat: in the awning of a closed cafe in the park, where the chairs are stacked ten high.  It is Sunday. Doves are cooing in the alcoves.

Back on the cobbled path, the rain glistens on red berries and pools in the cusp of the flowers, gathering in puddles under foot. A child on a small tricycle passes you, and splashes through the water with a ssshing sound as the tires pick up the thin veil from the ground. Further on, a bevy of swans parade down river. And there is some kind of impeccable joy radiating from within you, to be outside in the rain. It is the joy of solitude, that smells like winter, and that feels like a warm glow within.

Later you will go indoors and your face will defrost, your hands too, and you will wonder how you ever went outdoors in such weather. But for this moment, you can live with the rain.

A rainy day in Lyon, France
A tour group with colourful umbrellas in the rain in Lyon
Roses in the rain, Lyon, France
Bridge over the Rhône with carved figures
French flag on a bateaux in the Rhône river.
Bateaux on the Rhône river in Lyon
Dinghy tied to a large boat on the river in Lyon.