Rain, rain, rain, as much as it makes me want to sing the blues I must admit it has marked some significant times in my life over the last year. On my graduation day it rained. On my first bike ride in New York City it rained. And on this past weekend’s Mennonite Voluntary Service retreat it rained.
Typically I’m the kind of person who hates rain but I may be changing my tune. While most people were upset and even angry that it rained on my college graduation day, I secretly enjoyed it. We sat outside with our umbrellas raised in furtive efforts to stay dry but, after a while, there was nothing left to do but let the rain fall and wash over us.
My first bike ride in New York City was on a dark and rainy night and although I was apprehensive at first, it turned out to be the most memorable bike ride of my life (even more memorable than my first ride around my driveway on a two wheeler or my first crash). There is something beautiful about giving in and letting the rain have its way with you. Suddenly there is nothing to fight, nothing to run away from, nothing to resist.
To quote Kathleen Dean Moore’s book Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature: “When you live, make it all. Don’t wait for the rain to stop. Climb out of your tent with your mind engaged and your senses ablaze and let the rain pour into you…Be the kindness of soft rain. Be the beauty of light behind a tall fir. Be gratitude. Be gladness.”
This past weekend I went on a much-needed retreat to the woods of Pennsylvania with 15 other Mennonite Voluntary Service volunteers for 4 days of rest and relaxation. And, of course, it rained yet the experience was wonderful and I think it was because of the rain, not inspite of it.
Because of the rain I spent lots of time engaging in meaningful conversations with friends new and old. Because of the rain I spent more time reflecting and evaluating my experience so far in New York City. Because of the rain, I was able to appreciate things I usually don’t.
Sometimes I feel like it has rained more often than not in my life during these past 8 months in New York City but I’m realizing that this rain often consists of storms I bring on myself. While life does send its share of showers my way, I need to be conscious of when I add my own lighting and thunder to the forecast.
My goal for these last four months in NYC is to let go of the negativity I’ve been harboring inside and let the rain fall where and when it may. The thing about rain showers is that, before you know it, they pass and the sun peeks back out. This time of my life will be over sooner than I realize and I don’t want to miss the sunshine because of the showers. It’s time to step out and start singing in the rain.