There is nothing more soothing than a steady rain.
Sitting here looking out at the gray skies and watching the puddles on the rooftop across from my window swell and splash with new drops of water, I’m taken to a place of perfect peace.
Of course, that’s mostly because I’m inside, as opposed to being directly in contact with the elements… then it’s a whole ‘nuther story. These days, I can’t cope with rain drops unless I’m wearing the appropriately bougie ensemble consisting of my Burberry jacket and Hunter wellies. Despite not having the kind of hair that would frizz in such conditions (or any hair, really), I still feel violated without a decent umbrella. If my body’s demands are not met, the rain pretty much holds me hostage for its duration, and frankly, that’s only permissible if I’m absolutely comfortable and have nothing too pressing to do, or if I happen to be in good company.
Any other time, I feel as if I’m missing out on some tremendous opportunity to do something. Anything.
But beyond that, I ask myself: “When did I become so afraid of rain?”
As a kid, I’d spend hours outside splashing barefoot and attempting to drink the drops that streamed down my face. To me, it was cleansing ans refreshing. It didn’t matter that I was blinking profusely and practically blinded by the mix of hair grease that washed from my head straight into my eyes, my friends and I were content in the coolness of the Summer storm, and would only retreat if we saw lightning or heard our names being beckoned by some adult who wouldn’t be caught dead out there without the appropriate ensemble of London Fog or whatever the hell was big back then.
The older me misses the younger me’s fearlessness. Back then it never occurred to me that I could catch a cold if I stayed out there too long, nor did I worry about my clothes or shoes being ruined. The rain wasn’t toxic and didn’t need to be filtered before consumption, and a plastic poncho — heck, even a trash bag with a hole cut in it — was good enough for me.
But the fears start to go beyond water falling from the sky. Soon you realize everything has become the rain, metaphorically. Relationships, work, and life suddenly become more scary and challenging, and rather than simply weathering the storm, we go into protective mode or run for cover.
Just as the New Edition song says, “Sunny days, everybody loves them. But tell me baby, can you stand the rain?”. We all want life to be perfectly sunny and for the most part drama free, but how do we handle things that aren’t so perfect? Do we acknowledge that there is even a storm? Do we wait for it to pass? Does it really matter if we get a little wet?
Then I realize that at the end of every storm is a fresh new beginning… and even a rainbow to remind us of the beauty that comes with starting over.
It also helps that for a brief moment, the smell of rain in the air and on the sidewalks offers a welcome respite from the pungent odor often affiliated with Summer in New York. Let’s hope Bond No. 9 doesn’t bottle that scent!