Let me share with you how I look at the rain. Personally, I love finding myself in the garden when I can see the clouds gathering and I know the rain is coming But you know, it is the moment that I catch that first scent of the rain on the breeze that my whole being leaps with excitement and joy.
Besides, I’ve been through the storms before and I know how the blue skies in the days that follow the rain, will seem clearer, cleaner, and more crisp than normal. Beauty awaits beyond the storms.
Seeing things in this light can help us all learn to welcome the rain, to embrace it and even to decide to enjoy it! Nearly all of us enjoy the sunshine and the fun that goes alone with it. It makes us feel good, it makes us happy and yet, if we allow it to the rain can do that too! It simply depends on our attitude. Much like all of life, we have the power to determine whether to enjoy it or to simply endure it. Even in times of national stress, our attitude can make a real difference. If only we can find a way to embrace the truth that it is the storms of life that are so often the very times when we are made stronger, both individually and as a Nation.
We need to learn to dance in the rain and to embrace the rainy days, to see them as times of refreshment, times of growth, or even just as times to play in the puddles.
So, we find ourselves weeks and weeks into this new reality of social distancing and toilet paper hoarders. I for one have decided not to dwell on that or on the rainy weather. I am determined to smile and take time to notice the delightful changes around me. I plan to get out into my garden and get some new life started. I plan on listening to the birds sing, to looking for animals with their young, and to watching the natural life around me emerge, shoot up, and finally start to blossom. Gardening and just enjoying nature remind me that, even in lock down, life goes on. Do yourself a favor and take notice of how the world around us is starting fresh; it is telling us that we can too. Every day brings subtle changes until suddenly it seems as if spring is in full bloom.
What I am trying to say is that we all need take a step back, a deep breath, and just be thankful for all the beauty that surrounds us. We need to find ways of dealing with the stresses of life. For me the answer is in spending time with my young son and spending time gardening. Get out and plant a garden, if you have never gardened before this is a great time to start. What else are you going to do? Watch more Netflix?
This is a trying time for all of us, I know it is, there are plenty of grown-up things to fill up our minds with anxiety, how will I pay the bills, how will I put food on the table, and there is that whole toilet paper thing again. But sometimes it is better to let our minds be filled with other things, simpler things, like appreciating nature, or even the little bit of nature we can enjoy isolated in our own backyards.
A few days ago, my seven-year-old and I were in our backyard, we each had masks covering our mouths and noses, what a sad site. Dwelling on it, it would have been easy for me to get depressed. My son though, much shorter than I am, wasn’t thinking about that at all. No, he had a different viewpoint, he was bent over running his hands through the overgrowth of grass. As he did, my mind turned to thoughts of how badly my yard needed mowing but, again, not him. He looked up with that wonder of youth in his eyes and asked, “Dad, has it ever been so green before?”
Sooner than I could answer he continued, “It’s just like the kind of place Bigfoot would live!”
“Wait a minute,” I said grinning and picking up a fallen branch, “there he is! Let’s get Bigfoot!” My son picked up a stick himself and for the next few minutes we raced around the yard laughing and laughing as we tried, without success, to capture that elusive creature.
Soon we both fell to the ground and things got quiet. As we lay there our ears caught the strangest sound. Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock. We both stood up and stretched out our ears trying to identify the noise, a solid rapid-fire popping of beak against wood.
Wide eyed my son looked up at me, “I’ve never heard a woodpecker around here before,” I whispered, and he shouted “Me neither” as he laughed and ran off with his stick swinging wildly over his head, once more chasing Bigfoot. I stood there a second and prayed that this moment and not the frightening ones, would be what his seven-year-old mind would remember about the Pandemic of 2020.
Grow a garden or read a poem, just remember to enjoy whatever comes be it rain or shine. Choose to see new growth all around, in nature and in humanity. And choose to be reminded that it is the April showers that bring the May flowers!