I am by no means an avid exerciser, but I do try to walk on occasion. With fall around the corner, I’ve promised myself I’ll get on a more regular schedule. This doesn’t mean a little mosey around the block. Speed walking works for me. I feel it hurt in all the right places and it doesn’t jar my bones.
Last night I got about a quarter of a mile from the house and the clouds that I thought had dried up, opened up on me. There I was in a white tee-shirt and yoga pants with my i-phone crooning John Mayer, and somebody turned on the faucet. After the initial unpleasant sensations of feeling my shirt dampen and stick to me, I just accepted it. First thing was-I couldn’t run home. I don’t run. It’s a complex mixture of ego, age, and ability. Secondly, it was dark, so no one was going to see me looking like an over-aged coed in a wet tee-shirt contest. Third, there was no lightening, no rumbles. Just a good summer downpour.
After I got really soaked to the skin (and was still a-ways from the house), I realized there wasn’t any reason to hurry. Ironically, I’d been doing that all day. Now, it just didn’t matter. The wet started to feel good on my head as the ponytail soaked through. The air was Georgia warm. The rain was invigorating. Suddenly I started remembering all of those moments throughout my past forty years on this planet when playing in the rain was like THE BEST ADVENTURE EVER.
When I was a kid, we lived in a condo for awhile that had a drainage ditch behind the house. When it rained, that thing ran like the Mississippi River. It was awesome (and probably deadly) to stand in it with water up to your knees and feel the force of the current, or to throw things in and watch them whiz away. Then there was high school: summer rainstorms and walking through the neighborhood with a friend, both of us barefoot on the black pavement, holding hands, blinking as we sang in the downpour. Those were the days.
I was a little disappointed when I reached my driveway, even though rain ran off the tip of my nose and water was squishing in my sneakers. The shower was still coming down in a deluge. And it felt wonderful.
I had to go into the garage so I didn’t track puddles through the house. That was the adult in me-- practical and responsible, waiting for me to come back to my senses the moment the walk was over. It didn’t matter though. After I went upstairs and changed, I felt like I’d just had a spa treatment.
It should rain a little more often on us in our lives when we don’t have umbrellas and we’re far from home. A little water never hurt anybody. I’ve forgotten that.