While I am well aware of how fortunate I am, occasionally I am reminded that regardless of we live our lives, “stuff happens.” Stuff happened recently. The phone rang and the voice on the other end of the phone gave me information I did not request, was not prepared to hear, and information that I did not like. I did not ask questions because I could not speak. I rushed the conversation pretending to understand the message so I could get off the phone and vomit.
Stuff happens– out of nowhere. My phone rings many times in a day, usually bringing an invite to a fun event, a request for some professional coaching, or perhaps word that the dress I wanted was located and is on its way. But this time, the message was a hard punch to the abdomen, one that caused considerable pain.
Had I not seen a hint of this, of something not quite right, over the past few years? I am afraid that while my “Pollyanna” mind-set is generally a strong asset of mine, every so often it gets in the way of my seeing things as they are really are. Of course there were signs, both verbal and non verbal, yet I failed to recognize them for what they were.
The words from the phone call kept repeating themselves in my head. It was pouring rain outside and I decided to take a walk hoping the sound of the heavy rain would drown the words. I quickly grabbed an umbrella and then even more quickly, put the umbrella away. I decided to walk in the pouring rain with no umbrella. I wanted the rain to soak me. I walked for miles. Along the way, several people offered me an umbrella, but an umbrella would only get in the way of what I needed. I needed the heavy downpour of rain.
The rain was hard and loud, yet oddly strengthening. The pounding rain seemed to cleanse and prepare me to deal with the new reality. I realized that rain is very underrated. We whine about it when it causes the cancellation of a tennis match, or it ruins the outdoor party we planned. And we curse it if it spoils our new look right after a hair appointment. Other than an occasional acknowledgement that we need rain to fill our reservoirs and care for the foliage, we undervalue rain.
Ordinarily, every morning I open my terrace doors to let the sun shine in. I love the sun with the brightness and warmth it brings to start my day. But the day of the phone call, I could not count on the sunshine for its feel-good effects. There was only rain to help me. I realized then that I need to also open up my terrace doors and my heart to let the rain shine in. I will never again be disappointed when I get rain instead of sunshine. Just like sunshine, I need the rain.
I am guessing that you have received a difficult message or two in your lifetime, one you didn’t want to hear, one that shook the very ground on which you were standing. I am not sure if a walk in the pouring rain ” sans-umbrella” would be how you would handle it, but I do hope you have found a way to accept a new reality and move forward.
Today it is raining hard and yes, I am going for a walk, and no, I am not bringing an umbrella. I hope you consider a walk in the rain one of these days without a protective umbrella and rain gear–just enjoy the rain for what it is much like you enjoy the sunshine.