05 May 2017

Rain Down on Me

Is there anything quite as magical as precipitation? Of course, it is not magical at all. It's very well explained in third grade science, most of which I don't remember at all. But atmosphere and pressure and moisture aside, is there anything that compares to feeling awe-struck, staring into the sky as it renders and releases itself?

Today, the sky is raining. I am sitting snugly inside, watching it from the window. Soon, I'll be out in the downpour, navigating the sidewalks with an eager husky. I am less-than-thrilled at the prospect of getting wet, but from here, the rain is simply beautiful. What's most amazing about precipitation, I think, is that it seems to come from nowhere. There's no shower head, no faucet, no gentle shower option on the hose. It just descends. Today, there isn't even a clear cloud pattern of departure. The heavens are watering us directly, it seems.

Rainy days often are a hindrance, an anxiety, a problem. They cause traffic, accidents, inconveniences. They bring sinus pressure, seasonal depression, bad hair. I find it so easy to wake up on a rainy day and be annoyed (unless, of course, it's a day I absolutely never have to leave my house and can curl up guilt-free with a book and not move at all, in which case I wake up overjoyed.) But, usually, as a mostly-employed adult, rainy days rarely mean this anymore. I have to go somewhere, do something, be someone, and the rain makes that very, very difficult.

But, what if the rain doesn't mean to make things difficult? What if the rain means to help us? What if the rain wants us to grow? April showers bring May flowers, after all. We are quick to assert that rain is beneficial to plants, but far less so to acknowledge it may be beneficial to us, too. Obviously, it won't make us grow any taller, but perhaps it can force us out of our seeds. Those seeds can take many forms, but particularly on rainy days, these come to my mind: impatience, frustration, sloth, lack of appreciation. Rain provides a great opportunity to grow in virtue.

Water as spiritual renewal is nothing new, but facing each rainy day as an opportunity for renewal? Well, that's new to me, or at least I needed the reminder. It's not going to be easy, and I won't be able to grow in every virtue every time it rains, but maybe this is a good enough start: admiring the rain as a beautiful part of God's creation, and not just a disruption to my day. Admiration leads to thankfulness, and, as Veggie-Tales so very wisely sang, "a thankful heart is a happy heart."

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