I did something yesterday I hadn’t done in a long, long time.
It was quite by accident, I wouldn’t have planned it, and in fact, had I known what I was getting into, I would’ve done whatever I could to avoid it.
Under cotton ball-dotted blue skies during the afternoon rush, I walked into the grocery store. A full shopping cart and an empty pocketbook later, I walked out into unexpected gray and gloom; not just rain mind you, but furious pregnant drops defying gravity with a sideways pour.
The parking lot had been crowded when I arrived, forcing me to park at the far end. "It’s better for me, anyway" I remember thinking.
There were no two ways about it, I was going to get wet.
Person after person in the same boat as I made a run for it; it’s funny to watch someone make an umbrella out of a bag of dogfood. It’s also entertaining to watch people dancing and dodging to avoid the inevitable–this was a deluge, THEY WERE GOING TO GET WET!
I considered going back inside to buy an umbrella to add to my ever-growing car collection. Though I’m hardly made of sugar and in no danger of melting, I had actually put on make up and fixed my hair, and I knew in seconds the effort would be gone with the rain.
But then Natasha Bedingfield started humming in my ear–
— and I decided to take her advice literally.
At first quickly, then intentionally slowing, I made my way to my car.
As odd as it sounds, I invited the rain. There’s a huge difference between getting drenched because you have no choice and consciously choosing to get soaked. I turned my face cloud-ward and smiled, thrilled with the splash that was most certainly painting rivers of black down my cheeks (confirmed with a rearview mirror check).
I looked like a crazy fool, but I couldn’t care less. This, my friends, was a celebration of soul, a liberation of spirit!
A progression of childhood memories flooded my mind as I neared my car–playing in the rain with my best friend Kimberly (mud pies always to follow), hovering in our basement while tornadoes rampaged our city right after my fourth-grade birthday party, my own children donning their swimsuits and–armed with magical umbrellas–discovering the joy of summer rain. I can still see Rachel’s exuberant face, mouth open and tongue extended, satisfying her thirst for more than just water. For life!
And, so I drove home, face now mascaraed instead of lashes, hair glued to my head in poodley straggles, and in dire need of dry clothes…
…musing that indeed, parking at the far end of the lot was better for me.