When I was a young child, I used to sing a rhyme: “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.” From singing this repeatedly, I came to believe that rain was less than desirable for outdoor activities. While growing up, elders affirmed this when they said, “It’s horrible out there!” and “The skies are so dreary … I just want to stay inside.” Years of subconscious conditioning like this has led to the entrenched belief that rain dampens outdoor enjoyment.
Now in midlife, I have an inherent need to go outdoors for a walk everyday, regardless of the weather. Since I live in an area where there is a large amount of rainfall, I have good rain gear and bundle myself up well before heading out on stormy days. On one particular afternoon, a deluge of rain and wind sent me back for my umbrella for added protection. I chuckle to myself every time I open up the graphic blue skies and puffy white clouds over my head. Stepping out into the rain, the beating of raindrops on my umbrella bring me back to reality and open up my senses.
I notice the rain dancing on the pavement, streams of water flowing down the street, and puddles everywhere. Pools of water in all shapes and sizes beckon me forth as I began to experiment, moving my boots through them at various speeds, stepping both heavily and lightly through them. I marvel at the patterns of water my boots create. Every step revealed an artful spray that disappeared as quickly as it was created.
Down the hill ahead of me was a raging creek. I could hear the roar well before I reached the waters’ edge and felt the enormous surge of energy as I came closer. I was just in time for the afternoon performance. There was a dance going on! Swirling eddies danced in one section, leaping falls in another, and frenzied crashing lead to calmer rivulets at the side. The water roiled and frothed below me while raindrops tapped its’ rhythmic beat on leaves overhead, leaving them with a brilliant sheen and tiny jewel-like droplet at their tips. I paused to take a deep breath and smell the scent of a freshly washed forest. I merged into the experience and became one with nature.
Returning home, I was drenched from the inside out. I felt more alive than ever, having steeped my senses with nature. My body was neither cold nor wet, but totally enlivened. My spirit was deeply nourished from the sensory experience rain had provided. I proceeded to hang up my rain gear as I silently expressed gratitude for their protection. I placed my boots by a vent and a new song came to me in that moment, “Rain, rain, beautiful rain! Come again another day!” I made myself a cup of hot tea and revelled in the delightful discoveries of one rainy afternoon on the west coast of British Columbia. Life is good, even when it is pouring rain outside!