I am sitting in my car on a rainy day, thinking how rare it is for me to have time to sit and listen to the rain. One of those simple things I love about living that so often falls away in the wake of stress and crisis and the urgencies of everyday life.
My Daddy and I used to watch the rain together when I was a wee one, standing at the open front door of our home in Florida, thunderous winds bending palm trees over in ferocious embrace. Into my teens and twenties, I loved the rain, its nourishment of land and spirit, the feeling of adventure it inspired in me, like the time my Dad and I picked dewberries from wild vines alongside our blacktop lane in the pouring rain. I will never refrain from welling up with tears at the memory of his smile at me that day, colander of berries in hand, an expression on his face that said, this is crazy, but I love it!
It wasn't until he was gone that the rain started to scare me, the power of water to damage and destroy I somehow never noticed before. Maybe rain lost its appeal for me in part because the day my sweet father left us, almost eleven years ago, rain fell. I watched it out the window of the hospital in Texas where he died as I called his sister to tell her he was gone.
Today, I can listen to this steady drumbeat of raindrops on my car roof as I wait to meet my husband for lunch and choose to let it bring me happy memories of my Dad and all he was to me, rather than fearing some rain-fueled spectre of disaster that is unlikely to happen, except in my own mind. Even if it did happen, I am completely equipped to handle it, partly because of the wisdom and strength I inherited from my Dad who loved life to the fullest until the very end and didn't allow fear to rot his joy.
I can love the rain, as I always have, as a tribute to the memory of that wonderful man who loved me so very much and would want me to dance in the rain, not be afraid of it.
Dance, I will...