We are blessed to live in a relatively tolerant, open-minded society. We are surrounded by diversity of opinions, beliefs, and backgrounds. And for my part, I have found most people to be pretty understanding of the things about me that make me different. With one notable exception.
I cannot stand rain. Looking out my window to see grey rather than blue makes me want to make a fort out of mismatched bedding and barricade myself within its unsteady walls. The mere mention of rain makes me squinch up my face in dismay.
With most differing opinions, I can get by unscathed Not a cat person? Oh, that’s okay, the understanding Cat Person says, looking at me with a sympathetic smile. Discussing religious differences rarely causes fireworks: Eastern Orthodoxy? How interesting- tell me more! Even telling another Southerner I’ve never been much for scrambled eggs- or mashed potatoes- veritable fighting words- will likely garner nothing more than, “Well, I guess it takes all kinds.”
But, tell people I don’t like rain, and I am met with surprise and condescension. Anytime I express my distaste for being covered in cold water against my will, or for sliding around like a hockey puck; my new dress clinging, damp and shapeless, against trembling, throbbing joints- bullied into submission by the mood swings of the atmosphere, people look over their glasses and down their noses at me in disbelief.
“Really?” they say, doing little to mask their displeasure, “But we neeeed rain. It makes the flowers grow. It brings new life. Without it, we wouldn’t appreciate the sunshine.”
I beg to differ.
Like a child, I find myself praying when I see clouds. Please hold back, I say, desperately. I’m almost home. There’s just one more park swing for me to try out.
Of course, like death and taxes, rain is bound to come along, no matter how much I pout about it. I smirk when I listen to the forecasters: “50 percent chance of rain today”, they say, pleased with themselves. Has no one told them? There’s a 50% chance of rain every day: it will either rain, or it won’t.
I was thinking about this today. My stepdad said with resignation that it looked like we’d be having a rainy weekend, and I sighed. I thought to myself, It will either rain or it won’t. And then I realized that, in spite of myself, the rain had managed to teach me something. Whatever I’m dealing with will either work out the way I’m expecting, or it won’t. I will either keep going as usual tomorrow, or life will throw me a curve ball. There might be sunshine and birdsong, or the thunder might roll.
I’m not going to pretend that this sent me, grinning, to the store to buy galoshes. It was just a gentle reminder that it’s not really about loathing the rain, or even loving the sun. It’s just about going outside to face things: rain or shine.