My best four-legged buddy and I set out on our walk yesterday afternoon. Storms had circled the area but were moving off and the route to the park looked clear and pleasant. At least that’s what I observed and that’s what radar confirmed. Interesting how nature surprises us at times. Much like life, yes?
Of course you know what happened next. We were nearly at the park when ploppy drops became a serious shower and that rapidly grew to a storm. There was no way we could get home without a significant drenching and besides, walking while thunder is rumbling never seems like a good idea. The park has a large picnic pavilion and that’s where we sheltered.
It wasn’t a summer storm. Not the kind with big gusty wind and wild flashes and crashes. There wasn’t any wind at all. In fact, there wasn’t even a dark and ominous sky. There were clouds that appeared overhead, yes, from which came hard rain. If we sat at a picnic table facing one direction, we were looking at the rain scene. If we sat and faced the other way we saw sunshine that grew brighter and brighter as the storm went on.
It was magical. The sunshine spread across field behind us. It glimmered through the trees. It gilded the red and gold leaves even as the rain pounded them. In the midst of that storm I was awed by the precious promise of beauty.
When the clouds drifted away and the rain stopped we were left with a fresh and dripping landscape and a lovely rainbow gracing the sky. Charlie and I emerged from the shelter and paused for a moment, breathing in the clarity of the light, the brightness of the leaves, the serenity of the rainbow. Charlie was perhaps a bit more interested in the squirrel activity, but I am sure he gave more than a passing glance to the surroundings.
As we continued on our walk, I thought about how often life presents us with just such a moment. And I wondered about what direction we face when it does. During those moments of drenching rain, during those times of thunder and grey sky, does it seem like it will rain forever? Or are we always aware that the sun returns and blesses us with beauty…and yes, often with a rainbow?
I think it’s easy to sit and watch the wet pavement and think about how our feet are wet and how the rain is preventing us from doing what we want. My first thought, after reaching the welcome shelter of the pavilion, was that I was going to be delayed. I would have to sit there and wait out the rain or get soaked on the way home.
But then as I sat there I stopped concentrating on how the rain was keeping me from something and started concentrating on other things. The smell of the earth as it soaked up the welcome drink. The fall colors that surrounded me. The rushing stream nearby. And then of course the sunshine. The trees were spotlighted, the rain gleamed, and the sun turned a momentary delay into a moment of such beauty that it stopped all of my thoughts about what I might be doing and turned them right into thanks for letting me be a part of it.
I don’t think it’s easy to give thanks for moments of rain in our lives. But it is possible to recognize that after the storms come moments of clarity and rich beauty for us to embrace. Waiting out the storm can at times feel endless. Allowing the sun back into our lives is our right, our reward.
I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I do this? Henceforth will I look on all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge. ~Og Mandino