Today’s weather forecast was calling for rain, at times heavy, freezing rain and snow. Have you ever decided not to do something because it was raining outside? The rainfall gives us permission to stay inside. All of those beautiful rainy days we have known, tucked away in our dry, warm houses. Things getting done, or doing nothing at all. Because of the rain.
Picture if you will the beauty of the rain. On some rainy days (and not all of them), the rain can beckon us into its embrace. After working many years outside in all manner of the elements, I have learned that the rainy days are actually the most peaceful. I actually looked forward to them. They ensured that my body could warm up from the inside out without discomfort. With the proper raingear, promenading along the ocean, or in a forest or along a trail in the rain can be magnificent.
Admit it. The sun is demanding. It shines brightly and hot and requires that you seek cover when necessary, hydrate often, wear hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, make hay and till the fields. The sun has an agenda. Lineups are always longer on sunny days.
Rainy days are much more quiet. All sound gets socked under the pitter patter of the falling drops. The world becomes a bubble around you.
Today I finally managed to do my favourite loop in my hood. This one is a little over 13km. I started out in full lightweight rain gear, wooly mitts and fleece with two hoods. Within minutes my running shoes were soaked through. It wasn’t long before my underlayers were also drenched. The rain was pelting down, then turned into sleet and finally a curtain of very wet snow.
I loved every minute of it. Once I got over the wet gear thing and my body began to generate warmth beneath my coats, I was able to be drawn towards the gift that is the rain.
Like a seed needs rain to take it from its dormant state, I believe humans do too. The rain gives us permission not only to hide inside, but also to go outside, find refuge where most find aversion. We can feel it on our faces. It gives us permission to grow. To overcome. Come out of our shells despite the odds.
Like the silent darkness of the early morning before even the birds are awake, we own the rainy days. They bring incredible peace, if only we can enter into them and surrender entirely.
Years of being forced to dawn my outdoor gear and head into a day under the great open rainy skies showed me that the rainy days were the best. I recall rowing on Elk Lake in Victoria in the dark, rainy mornings filled with simple, luscious beauty. The water was always more still on those mornings. And so was I.
By the end of my hour and a half walk/run today, I burst through the front door with my two soaking wet furry dogs and peeled off the layers that were stuck to my skin and hung them up to dry. My house was deliciously warm and dry. In a way that I could never have known if I had not set foot outside.
Don’t be afraid of the rain. It gives you permission to see the world in a way that you could never imagine if you were hiding inside. Have you ever watched children play in the rain? None of it is any matter to them. In fact the more puddles the better! Embrace the rain. Go visit it the next time it comes. I promise, you won't be sorry.