It rained today. A steady, hard, summer-in-the-south kind of rain. The kind of rain that makes the air feel thick enough to take on a persona of its own. At 4:45 pm I took note of two things: 1) It was time to “call it a day” at work, and 2) I would be succumbing to a mad-dash-sprint-in-heels finale to the day. I had, yet again, forgotten my umbrella. As I watched the rain fall, I held onto my last moments of dryness and a decent hair day, coming to terms that I would be devoting more time than I had planned that night tangoing with my blow-dryer. I conceded to Mother Nature and bolted to the car. Catapulting myself into the driver’s seat, I took notice of the cold squishing sensation of the small puddle in my shoes, and settling into the dampness, I remembered Her.
On a day much like this, I found myself exiting the newest local hip coffee shop, greeted by a relentless summer shower and the familiar Carolina humidity. Fueled by nitro-brew, but still a bit glazed over from my studies, I decided optimistically to use my two measly paperback books as a makeshift shield from the rain and hail. I remember thinking “if only I had left ten minutes earlier.” That’s when I heard singing against the backdrop of the new storm. It wasn’t a child’s voice, but like a child, it was delightful and without restraint. There was immense joy in each jovial note. And there she was, a young adult, with striking curly red ringlets; so striking that it took me a moment to notice that she was visually impaired. In one hand she had a walking cane, and in the other, the arm of a caregiver. It was clear that she was working on her skills with her cane and was feeling the type of freedom that transcended into triumphant song.
She was in no hurry, and paid no mind to the storm around her. The passing of other people in her path was no matter, nor was their potential judgment. She was living in the moment, which was HER moment. Owning it, no amount of rain, audience, or even hail was going to compromise the sheer delight she was experiencing. She gently held onto her nurses arm, and you could see that the two of them were probably more kindred in the way they shared this journey, rather than a mere provider-patient relationship. There was something familial and warm there. Her smile was infectious, and her energy equally abound. We soaked it up as if she were a ray of sunlight sent to break the storm. Instead of trying to get through the rain, we stopped with Her to feel it.
I do my best to hold onto that, because we all find ourselves in varying degrees of rain–both figuratively and literally. A sporadic season of sprinkling rains, treacherous thunderstorms, and unforgiving hail are a part of the journey as much as the sun is. Sometimes, we find ourselves in the storm seeking shelter, and sometimes, well, we may actually be the storm. The downpour subsides, often bringing new life, a calm ensues, and the sun, it shines again.
There is nothing permanent about the weather, or even the seasons. Like life, it is ever-changing, full of surprise, and can shift at a moment’s notice. Wherever you are in the season of your life, whatever weather you might be weathering, may you find a reason to stop in your tracks, and sing like Her.