Here in Michigan, we’ve had quite a bit of rain lately. For the last couple of weeks, forecasts have called for storms or scattered showers most days, particularly in the mornings and evenings. And that was true for the Labor Day weekend. A friend of mine was visiting from Chicago, and it rained on us pretty much every day he was here. In fact, we got caught in the rain twice.
On Saturday, we went for a walk at the local nature center. We said hello to the red-tailed hawk and horned owl that were healing in cages and then wandered along the trails. Other than trees and flowers, we mostly saw squirrels, but we did watch a hawk fly out of the woods and swoop over a meadow. At first we thought he was hunting for prey, but he never dove into the grass to grab a snack. He just swept over the field and into some more trees. At the homestead farm, a couple of miles from the interpretive center where we had parked, we visited with an alpaca, a pig, and some goats. We had just returned to the trail to head back toward the interpretive center when the sky opened.
It was actually kind of fun getting soaked. The only problem was that I had trouble seeing, because, well, my glasses don’t have windshield wipers. Plus, the rain kept dripping from my forehead into my eyes, bringing the sunscreen I’d put on with it, and that made my eyes burn. I resorted to using the back of my friend’s shirt to wipe my forehead and eyes. I asked permission first; he didn’t mind. Anyway, there were few dry places on us by the time we made it back to the car, laughing about our soggy adventure.
Then, on Monday, we walked from my neighborhood to the downtown area. It was cloudy and we knew it might rain on us again, but we decided to take our chances. We made it to the shops we’d been interested in poking around. They were closed, but the owners of one were inside waiting for a repairman, and they let us in when they saw us checking out their window displays. From there, we walked a few more blocks to a coffee shop. We were safely inside sharing a bagel and drinking iced lattes, when the rain hit. We sat the shower out and then started home. We were four or five blocks from my house when the rain came again, not too bad at first. When we were about a block away, it turned into a downpour. I laughed. Seriously? We were so close.
When did playing in the rain stop being fun? As adults, we put on our rain coats and put up our umbrellas, trying to protect ourselves from the water falling from the sky. As a kid, I begged my mother to play in the rain. Well, okay, I didn’t usually have to beg. As long as it was warm enough, my mother had no problem with me running barefoot through the yard, laughing and getting drenched. My dad used to call us outside to watch thunderstorms. And when it was too cold to play in the rain, I spent hours sitting on our front porch, wrapped in a quilt, watching and listening to the water fall. I wish I had a porch so I could still do that.
I’m glad my friend and I got caught in the rain. I needed to be reminded of how much joy can be found in surrendering to the elements. The next time I’m home during a summer rainstorm, maybe I’ll run outside and do circles in the back yard.
All rain .gifs from www.lovethispic.com
Connect with Stephanie Stamm:
Stephanie Stamm is the author of the New Adult/Young Adult urban fantasy A Gift of Wings. (The sequel, A Gift of Shadows, will be released late 2014.)
She has also contributed stories (one fictional and one true) to the following volumes: