Into every life

About a half hour ago, I wandered out into the rain.

It was dark and with the thunder rolling above, some would have chosen for the rain to end before going outside with a camera.

But I am not “some” and I wanted to feel the rain on my face. So what if I got wet? Wouldn’t be the first time and likely won’t be the last. Based on past experience with rain, I have discovered that I don’t actually melt, so what the hell!

I wandered down the driveway to where the tiny flowers were a few days ago hoping to see some rain drops in play. The flowers are mostly gone already but I managed to get just the one shot of a little ladybird before she had enough of my interference in her private shower-time and she disappeared too.

So there is really just a couple of pics to justify today’s thought. I’ve placed them at the end of this rambling. Hope you like them.

Anyway, the reason for this ramble was that it occurred to me how people often react to rain, physically and metaphorically.

Growing up in Ireland, we pretty much did everything in the rain. Because if you were to wait for a rain-less day, you would be waiting quite a while. Yes, that’s why it’s so green folks!

We played, worked, relaxed, and even imagined in the rain. Rain became an ever-present in our lives and no one seemed to mind. Hell, I remember many a summer’s day we were swimming in the 50 something degree ocean waters as a child …. “sure, you’re going to be getting wet anyway. Just come out when you are turning blue.” was a general parental guideline to beach days in Ireland.

It’s amazing how sunshine spoils a person. Here in Florida, if it isn’t blue skies and sunshine, someone is complaining. I honestly think most people here think it is written into the constitution that they have an inalienable right to sunshine and blue skies.

One thing that rain has taught the Irish is to appreciate a good day. And they remember good days like they were a special event. “Do you remember that day in 1974? Sure, it was so warm, I didn’t even have to wear a vest.” In my minds eye, I envision many a time I was exposed to conversations like that one.

Irish people are the only ones on the planet who will bump into a friend in the middle of the pouring rain and begin the conversation with “ah, sure isn’t it a grand soft day, Michael?”

When physical rain is your friend, it also emboldens you to metaphorical rain. You don’t need life’s sunny days to keep going; you can remember the last one you had and you can live on that memory until the next one comes along.

It’s why Irish are a very resilient race. Adversity never stops a true Irish man. It’s in our blood to expect a rough passage. But the thing about any passage is that no matter the roughness, you still get there in the end.

For hundreds of years the Irish were abused and beaten by the British, but they were never beaten into submission. They never became a conquered race. And I think at least part of that is due to our relationship with rain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem The Rainy Day was interestingly enough written as the Irish were thrust by Britain into The Great Famine. But it had that famous line, that no doubt we all know: “into each life some rain must fall.”

It simply gives voice to the fact that at some stage in our lives, each of us will experience rain.

Understanding or expecting rain is one thing, but dealing with it is another.

Rain and the adversity it brings must be embraced. We should not hide away from it and look to take shelter.

We should let it hit our face, soak our hair (stop laughing, I still have one or two) and push through in our chosen path.

Because when the rain hits our face, it can wash the dust from our eyes and help us see more clearly the direction we are traveling in.

It can moisten our lips and allow us to give voice to that which is important to us.

It can cool our hot head and stop our pride and prejudice from overheating.

And most importantly, it can wash our soul and give us a strength of righteousness in our ambitions.

So, take your rainy day and let it soak in. See what you can learn from it and then use that to strengthen your resolve in the next step you take.

Rain is the source of all life … including yours.