Forty shades of nothing!


There is a company on the Monivea Road in Galway called ‘Let it rain’. They are responsible for cladding some of the most recognisable buildings in Galway and beyond. The distinctive green copper siding of GMIT is a prime example. I often see their vans around town and wonder at the positivity in the name. They have named their company in direct defiance of the traditional metaphor used by almost every novelist, poet and filmmaker – ever. If you want to introduce sadness into the story you are telling, let it rain. But the lads out on the Monivea Road need the rain. Over time, it turns their shiny copper-coloured facades into that distinctive weathered green.

GMIT rooftop

Copper cladding at GMIT by ‘Let it rain’

Metaphorically-speaking we associate rain with tears, loss and adversity. Apart from our friends at ‘Let it rain’, the farming community is perhaps one of the very few that love to see clouds forecast. They also need the rain – as much as they need the sunshine – for growth on the land. ‘Grand soft day,’ they say when the clouds open over the fields. The rest of us, almost instinctively, are programmed to curse the inconvenience. Women emerging from the hairdressers with a new ‘do’ roll their eyes to heaven and remind themselves to bring an umbrella next visit. Athletes mutter their discontent at the slippery conditions underfoot. There is, however, another way to greet the incessant rain that breaks from the dark clouds as they roll over the West coast – brimming with the evaporative waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

We ALL need the rain. It provides us with the life-giving water we drink. It pours from our taps to keep us healthy and hygienic. It is part of the chemical reaction that turns the leaves on the trees green – without which, our American cousins would be bussing along the highways and byways looking at forty shades of nothing!

I looked up from my laptop a few moments ago. The rain that seemed was ‘down for the day’ had stopped. I stepped outside and inhaled the freshest of air. No doubt it will rain again at some stage today but it will soon be followed by the sun breaking through the clouds, bringing with it a renewed sense of ‘hope’ for a brighter future. Surely it is what follows the rain we should focus on rather than the temporary inconvenience?!

One of my three-year-old daughter’s favourite rhymes sums it up in the simplest of terms:

‘The incy wincy spider crawled up the water spout,

Down came the rain and washed the spider out,

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,

And the incy wincy spider crawled up the spout again.’

Surely, if the humble spider can get up and try again – well then…

About the Author

Mark White
A native of Dublin, Mark has slowly been moving West since 1997. Schooled at Gonzaga College and CBS Dun Laoghaire, he received his undergraduate degree in Software Engineering from Athlone Institute of Technology in 2002. Mark spent a number of years working as a C# Developer in the industry before deciding to undertake a research masters in Information Technology at NUI Galway in 2010. His work resulted in a new algorithm to reduce energy consumption in virtualised data centres and has been since published. He fills his working day writing software, taking photographs and editing The Galway Eye.