Image provided by Rachel Edwards

Rachel Edwards
Education Officer at the Scottish Parliament

Affiliation with UVic English: Undergraduate Student, BA 2002

Special Book: A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson

When did you first read this book: It was read to me when I was about 4 years old; I read it for myself for the first time a few years ago.

Which sentence from this book has special significance for you?

“The rain is raining all around, It falls on field and tree, It rains on the umbrellas here, And on the ships at sea.”

What does the sentence mean to you?

I grew up in Victoria, and remember many occasions of pressing my nose to the window as I looked out at yet more rain. This poem, like so many others in the book, resonated with me even at the age of 4. Like the poem about having to go to bed in summer while it was still light, or climbing trees and peering into the neighbour’s yard, I understood it; I could relate to it. It is simple but perfect, and creates an atmosphere in four very short lines.

Now I live in Scotland, home of Robert Louis Stevenson, where the rain is different but just as frequent. Down the street from me, alongside the Water of Leith, this poem is carved into the pavement and every time I pass it, I remember rainy days in Victoria.