I’m still down for the count, folks. Working on getting this crud out of my nasal passages (and my eyes! It’s moved into my eyes, oy vey!). In the mean time, I am honored to bring you another lovely, thoughtful guest post
from my dear, sweet Hubs, who continues to nurture me back to health with warm meals, gentle words, and hot toddies. Oh, yes. I think it’s the hot toddies that might be healing me the most.
It’s another rainy day here in Western North Carolina. We have lots of them, and I am very grateful for it. Not as grateful as Huxley though. As I type this, Huxley is outside with Ashley, partaking in one of his very favorite things: running through puddles while he joyfully exclaims, “go fast, go fast!”
For Huxley, puddles are a source of play and wonder. Like most anyone that can’t count their age on their fingers, I tend to do my best to walk around them. Watching Huxley squeal with delight, I can’t help but wonder if I have been missing out all these years. Some say that if you pay close attention, and allow yourself a bit of humility, you have a lot to learn from your children. I find they’re right.
There are lots of practical reasons to avoid the rain. Soaking wet clothes aren’t always conducive to a productive day. Today I wanted to do a little reinforcing on the chicken coop, but my power tools and rain don’t mix well, so I decided to wait rather than follow Huxley’s embrace-the-rain ethos. I have no doubt that he would love to be out in the rain right now, with my power tools, commanding them to go faster. Obviously, power tools and toddlers aren’t an ideal combination. We are still trying to convince him of that, despite the occasional protest. Drilling can wait.
The thing is, when it comes to rain, a lot of us adults have thrown the baby out with the rainwater. Sure, there are lots of times when it makes good sense to avoid getting wet, but the truth is, there are also times that it’s actually a bit silly to let a few drops of water hold us prisoner indoors, because there are plenty of fun and wonderful experiences to be had in the rain.
There is so much dynamism that we are missing out on. Rain is always moving. Every drop catches the light and fills the empty air with substance, reflection, and motion. When we embrace that, it moves us too, and it’s pretty darned invigorating. When the drops explode on the first surface that they contact, they create a melodic orchestra of percussive rhythms that stirs the soul, if you let it. As those drops morph into puddles and streams, the liquid connects everything that it touches, including us.
I took a walk in the woods by the house today, as it rained, and I can assure you that I didn’t melt, freeze, or float away. In fact, it was pretty fantastic. I didn’t plow through the puddles Huxley style, but I didn’t take great care to avoid them either. The sun came in and out during my walk, which is always a fun touch. I have seen the rain coming down on a sunny day. The rain makes the woods louder, and quieter at the same time. The leaves crunch less, the birds are less chatty, and the white noise of the pitter-patter muffles many of the usual sounds.
With so many different surfaces, from an infinite variety of leaves, rocks, downed trees, and streams, the orchestra is particularly marvelous. The brooks all babble at full throttle, and on this day, the rumble of thunder made for some heavy-duty bass riffs. When wet, every surface in the forest becomes a reflective surface, catching the light, and bending it. It’s nothing short of miraculous.
I know it’s a simple thing; a walk through the woods in the rain, but simple pleasures appeal to me more and more these days, and when I give them careful attention, I find the wonder that’s always all around us, but all too easy to overlook. I suppose I have Huxley to thank for that.
You can see more images from Hubs’ walk in the rain here.