When it rains

17 Jun

When I was about four years old, it rained. It rained like someone had turned on a faucet in the sky. It didn’t rain like that very often in Seattle, the kind of rain that makes you just want to hide inside until it stops. Even at four, I knew that much.

My dad grabbed a big umbrella out of the closet and took me outside. I’m not sure why. I was probably being obnoxious and running around the house driving my parents crazy, as preschoolers do. He was probably trying to think of a way to just keep me busy for fifteen minutes.

So he grabbed this big umbrella and took me out to the end of the driveway. We walked out to the street, and sat under the umbrella, me on dad’s knee, or at least that’s how I remember it. The rain was loud, and Dad taught me “Singin’ in the Rain”. I asked him why we were out there, and he said, “I want you to like the rain.” Or at least I think that’s what happened. That’s a weird thing about memories from being that young, it’s impossible to know if they’re real.

For some reason, that was one of those moments from early childhood I remember. In the years since, I’ve come up with a whole reason behind that one little moment that Dad probably didn’t have this long-term motivation for. He knew that it rains a lot in Seattle. He didn’t want me to hate the rain, he didn’t want me to just tolerate it, because then I would hate going outside half the time. I would be letting something hold me in. But if I liked the rain, if I let it be something that made me happy, then I could go out in it and grin and sing and revel in the sound that rain makes on top of an umbrella. I wouldn’t be scared. I wouldn’t let something like the weather hold me back. I could realize the rain could be beautiful.

I’ve made that one day a metaphor for not letting things hold me back just because they’re uncomfortable or difficult. Sometimes it’s rain, sometimes it’s loneliness, sometimes it’s low self esteem or lack of funds or just being scared. But traveling, moving, starting a new job, trying new hobbies, meeting new people – it’s always worth it, even when it’s hard.

It’s been thundering here a lot lately, and I always think about that night. I have these two reactions when it starts storming: half of me wants to curl up with tea and a book (okay, Netflix and wine) and snuggle with a blanket in the safety of my apartment. The other half wants to grab my umbrella and walk down the streets and listen to the rain. I always find myself grinning when I do.

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One Response to “When it rains”

  1. autumnkovachak December 11, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    I LOVE this. Such a great story and important lesson. It’s definitely something I’ve encountered too; learning how to embrace every part of of life even if it’s uncomfortable because there is a lesson in everything. It also allows for more joy overall by having a good attitude and perspective.

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