Even the Best of Things


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

Scrubbed Clean

ancient_forest_by_robinhalioua-d5qhc26The sort of morning that appeared last Thursday was one where the air had been scrubbed clean by the rain of the day before. The sky was more blue; the light of the sun more crystal-like. The distant horizon seemed father away than usual because of the clarity everything appeared with. It was a morning where Nature demanded Her beauty be noticed and I willingly acquiesced to Her desire. I felt gratitude for the gift of the morning and an uncommon humility created by noticing what I saw.

Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” I swear its true. My sense of things the first fifteen minutes after I rise is a relatively accurate predictor of how I will feel through my day. Beginning with a sense of gratitude has multiplied my joy of living at least ten-fold. From “The Blank Book” by Lemony Snicket

It was my mantra that “I was not a morning person” for most of my life. My preference was to be a creature of the night staying up as late as I could and yet still function decently well the following day. Now it’s easy to see I spent most of my days sleep deprived and the effect of it was not a positive thing. And more so, it’s clear now I was never a “night person” and rather only a creature of habit.

Have you ever seen the dawn? Not a dawn groggy with lack of sleep or hectic with mindless obligations and you about to rush off on an early adventure or business, but full of deep silence and absolute clarity of perception? A dawning which you truly observe, degree by degree. It is the most amazing moment of birth. And more than anything it can spur you to action. Have a burning day. Vera Nazarian

There are fewer people paying attention to a day’s beginning than any other part of the time the sun is up. The number of folks who notice and even celebrate sunsets are numerous. Those paying attention to sunrise are far less in numbers. In that line of thought I realize early morning is more personally mine that any other part of daylight.

Since reading “Walden” as a kid I have held Henry David Thoreau close in heart and mind as a personal hero. First, because he chose to dance to the beat of his own drummer and follow his heart, no matter what others thought. Second, because he became close friends with some of the deepest underpinnings of life. He saw things most of us hardly notice although at this point in my life I am awakening, even if just a little, to the small machinery of life all around me that Thoreau came to know so well.

Morning brings back the heroic ages. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Henry David Thoreau

As something of a “grownup” I have lived long enough to notice, many only at mid-morning, some 17,000 new days. Fate willing, I should have at least another 7,000 left to enjoy. With great gratitude and thankfulness, I assure you that each one will mean a little more than the day before.

When you arise in the morning,
think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive;
to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Marcus Aurelius