Water as a Symbol in Creative Writing

I love the concept of rain, just not the rain itself. I’m not a fan of getting wet. What I do love about rain is the symbolism it gives me as a creative writer. Rain and thunderstorms can be used in a variety of ways to help tell a story. The other day I was writing and noticed the sky begin to darken. I knew there was a chance of a storm, I just didn’t know when. The rumble of thunder was in the distant background, an ominous warning from Mother Nature letting me know she was on her way. I put away the computer and settled myself on the back porch to await the show. I didn’t have to wait long. The storm was pushing through in a hurry. The lightning, obscured by the heavy clouds, gave a momentary glow to the otherwise gloomy sky.

Then one huge bolt seemed to split open the sky. The rain, the wind, the thunder all came at once, a concerto of sound as the rain pounded the tin of my roof. The swirling wind pushed a spray of cold water under my shelter causing goosebumps to emerge on my bare arms. I watched in silence as nature began to cleanse the landscape around me. The storm was washing away the layers of dust and dirt that had been gathering over time. As the storm raged passed, small streams of muddied water ran down the streets and sidewalks headed for the storm drains.

The air was still heavy with moisture, but it was a welcome feeling, like stepping out of a steamy shower. Everything had been washed clean. The streams of water coming off the eaves soon turned to a trickle, then individual droplets. There was a new look to my world. The clouds soon passed allowing the sun to shine through. Small prisms of water coated the grass, the leaves, the rose petals, making them shimmer in the new light. I couldn’t see it, but I’m sure there was a rainbow giving the storm its final touches. As soon as I had seen my fill, it was back to the keyboard. Only, I didn’t write. Instead I sat and pondered the literary uses of storms and water, and the way we adapt them as symbols in creative writing. Take a second and think about all the books, or movies even where water is present and try to see if there is a deeper meaning. (No pun intended).

D.B. Flint



Comments are closed.