Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rainy days and Tuesdays?

I woke up thinking that it was Monday.  That is because yesterday was a holiday and our girls were home with me...so my little brain automatically assumes that makes the next day a Monday.  hee hee

Last night our beloved oldest daughter informed me that her right arm was killing her....so painful.  She was in a car accident that shattered her right arm, then she had a botched surgery, and now she calls that arm, "robot arm."  Honestly the arm is more reliable than any meteriological report.  If the arm is killing the weather WILL change!  Now the arm can NOT predict whether it will be wind, rain, sun, snow....etc...it simply knows that the weather pattern is changing.

Rainy days?  Do you know how many negative songs have been written about rainy days?  Let's start counting..."Rainy Days and Mondays," (thereby castigating not only a type of weather, but a day as well), "It's Raining it's Pouring, the old man is snoring, went to bed, bumped his head, and couldn't get up in the morning."  (Apparently he had some issues with rain pain as well)  "Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day..."  Ending with the all too poignant song from Les Miz "A little drop of rain can hardly hurt me now..."  She has been shot, is dying, and lying in the arms of her beloved Maurius (who is in love with another woman and she knows it).

ARGH!  Why don't we sing HAPPY songs about rain?  When I lived in Portland, Oregon for almost 20 years a major portion of those days were filled rain.  I soon learned that it wasn't the rain that pulled and tugged at my emotional spirits.  It was the GRAY!  The hideous gray was how it was branded in my mind.  One year it lasted NINETY DAYS!  I think MOST human beings would have to be watched for their own safety after ninety days without even a peek at the sun.  My clever Nyle did research and discovered that there was a type of broad sprectrum light bulb that he could buy and affix to our electrical light fixtures.  That did help, a litle.

Then one day a dear friend (we carpooled out children together for years) looked up at me in surprise when I said that "Rainy days made me crazy."  She calmly and matter-of factly explained, "I LOVE rainy days.  They entice me to stay another minute under the bed covers and stretch.  Then I drink a warm glass of tea, or hot cocoa while I read a great book.  I bake cookies, and some yummy dinner for my family.  I LOVE rainy days." 

LOVE rainy days?  Was this woman crazy from lack of sunshine?  Then another perspective started being repeated to me by Portland residents.  I often heard about their "Webbed feet," and how they were cracking from lack of moisture.  These clever residents had adapted to their environment.  They didn't see those rainy days as a negative feature.  Instead they were days that they could fill to the brim with a different type of activities.  A day that encouraged everything around them to be green and gorgeous.

The plant life in Portland was phenomenal.  The earth was rich, black, and not a trace of cloying clay in sight.  I learned my 2nd year there that spontaneous growth was a possibility in this bewitching place.  Our first house in Portland had blackberry bushes growing on three sides.  Since the lot was 1/2 an acre that was an astounding amount of blackberry bushes.  I spent most of one day cutting away mounds and heaps of blackberry bushes.  Speaking of adaptable, those blackberry bushes had taken over about half our yard at that point.

I did not have on long sleeves (foolish, blackberry bushes have long thorns that just love to rip at skin...and I am allergic to their thorns) and our two children needed some overdue attention.  So I left the heaps and mounds of thorns in the back yard...for about 7 months.  Finally I grew tired of having my yard taken up by dead pieces of blackberry bush.  (Did I mention that I had small children that could be hurt by them?)  I put on a long sleeve shirt and went out to perform the odious task.  To my shock and amazement those amputated blackberry branches were sprouting!  Sprouting, and seemingly reaching back towards those locations where they had been removed.

Squelching my often over active imagination (really, the branches were missing the other branches?), I grabbed up an enormous arm full of them.  (You can't put them in trash bags, they just rip it apart, you can't put it in boxes you rip yourself up trying, you could put them in a wheelbarrow but I didn't have one at that point in my life.)

To this moment I am astonished at the blackberry branches that were chopped away from their source of life, and then began to sprout and grow again in a pile in the backyard. 

There is a reason why cliches, idioms, and old phrases are used over and over through generations.  It's because they have a universal center of truth for all of mankind.  The homily that struck me on that day was, "Bloom where you're planted."  Or as Victor Frankl said, (paraphrased) circumstances do NOT determine happiness.  (He was in a Concentration Camp when he made this discovery).  If course there is my own personal hero, Nyle Smith who said, "Happy not crappy."

So, today I will squelch my natural tendency to sing negative things about the rain.  Instead I will spend the day singing (as one of my dear friends suggested) I'm singing in the rain!  If you see a 50 something woman with red standing straight up hair dancing down the street in the rain, don't be frightened...it's just me.

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