Sunday, July 11, 2010


It has been hot and dry the past week...although the weather has flirted with giving us a great soaking every so often. We may get a five minute downpour, or just experience some cosmic belching match of thunder. Most of us prefer that it rain when it is convenient for us...overnight...when we were going to nap anyway...or when we have been at the ballpark for a gazillion nights straight and don't think we can face one more night on the bleachers with a hotdog and a Gatorade.

When we are homeowners, we want the rain to keep our yards from drying up and our water bills from being astronomical. Unless, of course, we have vacation planned, a formal event that is outside, or we are trying to run an impossible number of errands in an extremely short time frame. I know that I cringe when I hear of someone wanting an outdoor wedding. Not because I don't think that they are lovely...because they often are. It is because I would sincerely hate to have to figure out Plan B when Plan A has been planned meticulously for months.

Jill wants a beach wedding one day. She loves her church, but she has always dreamed of a more casual, laid back experience for her wedding day. Somehow, that suits her. I have been to some lovely weddings outdoors that all ended up just fine...but yet, I somehow know that we will be standing there in the midst of Hurricane Francois or something if we dare to dream.

Rain is not my favorite. I have always seen it as an imposition. I don't like the power being out, the big hair that will inevitably follow if I get out in it, and the fact that I've often run in circles in the rain in any given parking lot because I frequently have some kind of bizarre amnesia about where I park.

But the rain has to fall, and the storms have to blow in occasionally. It is a part of life. No rain...and we get a desert. And no offense meant to Las Vegas...but being in the desert doesn't really do a whole lot for me. I am fair-skinned, freckled and am not particularly enamored with the heat. But, at least if the sun is's not raining...except on those freaky occasions that the two occur simultaneously. Like every time I'm at Disney World.

I think a lot of lives are like that...they seem dry and purposeless because there has been no rain in some time. Sometimes folks will counteract that by dragging in a giant irrigation system of "stuff" or attempt to convince themselves that they no longer require water. We all require water whether we are in active denial about that or not.

Rain is not always a villain. Sometimes it shows up to clear away the dust, grime and pollen. It gives us a fresh perspective and view of the world. Other times, it is longed for because our spirits are virtually parched from the whole experience of trying to maximize our time in the sun. We need the refreshing droplets on the cracked soil of our lives...and something in us to form the tears that we will shed. Because shedding tears of joy, relief, or sadness is what makes us human and wonderful and real.

I know that a lot of people fear the storms of life, and go through a lot of trouble to avoid them. They want backup generators in case the power goes out, and own umbrellas the size of small football stadiums. Not me.

Although I will readily admit that I cursed the rain in London in 2006 because it messed up the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and brought a chilling cold front with it in the month of May that was not only intense but unexpected...I've realized that the storms have to be borne to fully appreciate the sun and calm.

My sister is getting married in November at an outdoor venue. I wish for her azure blue skies and a perfect temperature for her special day. But even after the ceremony, I wish for them the ability and desire to dance in the rain and weather the storms that inevitably come in life even for those of us who build our house on a rock instead of sand.

Today, there is a 50/50 chance of rain. But this is the South, and if there's anything that's predictable about living here (other than excellent sweet tea, rednecks, and mosquitos) - it is knowing that the weather forecast for the summer is simply "excrutiatingly hot" and that determining actual rainfall is impossible. Big Dave is outside preparing for a potential downpour by mowing the lawn before the sky makes its intentions known one way or the other. He loves the outdoors and is even blessed with a sunny spite of being married to me for 25 years. But there is an equal chance that the rain will fall and the storms will blow in and nix his grandiose plans of yard maintenance.

Perhaps not.

As for me, I'm going to just drag a chair up by the pool and open up the book I started at the beach while I get up from time to time to move laundry to and fro. Even if it storms...I'll be fine.

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