Smiling in the Downpour

The rain’s really hammering at the windows this morning! Some will look out and contemplate the soggy shoes, the broken umbrellas, the bunches of people crowding under the sheltered bus stop or the nearest shop awning before they even take their first step out the door. Not me, though.

I remember a little sun dress I was wearing at the end of a long shift one random evening in the spring. My colleagues and I were closing up the shop. The rain was coming down so hard and fast, a thick, seamless curtain from the storefront to the train station. I looked up and smiled at the three guys who blinked at the scene with doleful eyes.

We had a choice…. Move or stand still.

“Well, boys, it’s time for me to get out there.” I put my watch away, strapped my bag across my chest, stretched my arms out, and walked right into the storm, embracing the energy pouring down all around me, fast and furious. I was soaked through within seconds, of course, but still smiling when I looked back at the three lanky figures huddled by the locked doors calling out for me to come back under the meagre shelter afforded by the awning. “Naw, come on out here, the water’s fine.” I replied, turning to resume my stroll down to the train station.

Years later, I ran into one of those guys. He grinned and commented that one of the things he remembered about working there was the way I walked out there as though I were headed into a garden party. What was I thinking?

Well… the fact is, there was nothing else to do. Back then, there was an expectant family waiting up, no cell phones, and the nearest pay phone was out by the station. The rain wasn’t letting up any time soon. The meagre shelter of the awning wouldn’t last too long and certainly wouldn’t keep the chill out of my bones. It was better to meet the challenge of getting home on my own terms….

Besides, I had the advantage of knowing that there would be welcoming hugs, hot tea and enough story-telling to suit Beowulf when I got home. Perhaps that’s what made me brave/foolish enough to take that first step. The knowledge that everything would be fine in the end.

Since then, I always enjoy a good downpour, appreciating the energy and the reminder that everything in nature is so gorgeous and vital. A good thing, since life itself is full of challenging moments, requiring us to plow past quite a bit more than just a few drops of water. Whenever possible, it’s always best to face the matters of life on your own terms.

Cheers, everyone. Enjoy the rain. If you have a moment, go ahead and post something about your favorite rainy day.

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