Even the Best of Things

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Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain.

This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn’t have to be bad. And what’s more, I understand, sadness doesn’t have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain.

Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel – real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it’s going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there’s a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it’s like the rain, something you can’t avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you’re caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it.

Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I’d find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn’t rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end. From “Finding Fish: A Memoir” by Antwone Quenton Fisher

Since childhood the rain has been one of my absolute favorite things. It soothes and calms me like few things can. Quite by accident I discovered a word for people like me who love the rain: pluviophile. It’s borrowed from the science of biology where it means “thriving in conditions of abundant rainfall”.

Enduring the flooding that followed a category four hurricane on a Caribbean island makes me sympathetic to those enduring the aftermath of flooding right now. In spite of the twelve to fourteen feet of flood water that came with my Hurricane Ivan experience in 2004, my affinity for rain remains unaffected. I’m grateful to grasp that even the best of things can be bad in excess.

I don’t just wish you rain…
I wish you the beauty of storms…
John Geddes

About James Browning

A seeker working to grow each day and be a better version of my self. Through sharing I commit myself deeper to my ideals and beliefs.
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