Last week, I walked in the rain. I didn’t set out intending to do this. When I first got up and realized the weather was less than ideal, I thought to myself, “Blech. I can’t do this. It’s raining.” And I know you can’t hear it over the clacking of my keyboard, but the word “raining” was accented with just a slight bit of whine around the edges. It wasn’t my proudest moment. Or even second proudest.
And so, I grumped away from the front door, intending to wallow on the sofa for the rest of the day so that I could stew in my irritation and the overall unfairness of my existence. I wanted to walk! I needed to walk! How could it be raining?!? On the scale of massive universal unfairness, this surely had to rank right up there with salt in the sugar bowl. I felt annoyed at missing my walk. Even more than that, I felt angry.
And so I decided I was not going to let Mother Nature win. I was going to walk, anyhow. I grabbed my rain gear, stuffed my feet into my waterproof hiking boots, waved good-bye to my dogs (who both thought I was insane, by the way), and headed out into a wet and dripping world. As I drove to my walking destination, I debated with myself. Was this a good idea? Was it even going to be fun? And so what if it wasn’t fun? Who ever said life was all fun and games, anyhow? I mean, really … there are lots of things in life that aren’t fun. Cleaning the cat box immediately springs to mind, for starters. By the time I arrived at my destination, I had almost talked myself out of the whole thing.
But, I had already put on rain gear. And driven all the way over here. And there were hiking boots involved. It seemed I had no choice. Pulling my resolve around me like the most waterproof rain slicker in the multi-verse, I took a deep breath and exited my vehicle.
A walk in the rain!! What a wonderful way to spend an hour or so! Why, oh why, hadn’t I thought of this sooner? It was quiet, with only the sound of my boots shuffling through wet leaves and the drip-drip-drop of raindrops falling from the trees overhead. There were no other people around, and the whole world seemed to be coated in this wonderful, muzzy sort of grayness that wasn’t really gray at all, but only seemed to make all the colors brighter and more alive. It was as if I were seeing the world around me — really SEEING it — for the first time ever.
And I was invincible! No longer one of those sad couch-potato people, I was now someone who walked in the rain. Someone who didn’t let paltry things like bad weather stand in the way of their goals. With every footfall and every striding step, I conquered my doubts and my surroundings. I was going to own every inch of that sidewalk, let me tell you. I was strong and sturdy. I am certain my pioneer sisters felt just this same way as they walked forth into the great unknown, following their wagons across the tall grasses of the prairies. My heart sang and, for a few precious moments, I felt I could do anything at all, if I only just wanted it badly enough. It was exhilarating and a little bit frightening.
Just as I was about to give a resounding YAWP, screaming my smug superiority out to the world around me, the hood of my rain jacket dipped down — just enough to spill water over the edge and into my face. My glasses were covered in little droplets, and I couldn’t see where I was going. And I realized I had forgotten my cleaning cloth.
I sighed and shook them out as best as I could. Conquering the universe is pretty much impossible when one’s glasses are full of spotty raindrops. How can you be sturdy and pioneer-like when you keep tripping over the cracks in the sidewalk? I looked up and found myself back at the car, which meant it was time to go about the rest of my day. And so I drove away, happy that I had braved the rain and content to let the universe continue to run free — for now.