As I left the house for my walk this morning, I rejoiced at the cool grayness of the sky. I turned on my radio to catch up with the news and a voice announced that a tropical storm was traveling north from Mexico towards Southern California and would bring rainstorms today. I smiled at the thought of some decent rain falling on our desperately thirsty landscape – and in July, typically the driest time of the year. Half way along my walk, I started to feel raindrops hitting my shoulder, my head, my leg, but it was just a few drops, hardly enough to make me want to turn and head home.
A woman walking towards me was holding her hand out, to feel the rain on her palm – as if trying to catch some rare gem falling from the clouds. The drops started falling faster and the woman and I passed each other, we exchanged smiles at the arrival of this welcome stranger from the sky. Within a couple of minutes, the rain had started to pick up its pace and soon it was pelting down, a monsoon-like downpour, heavy but warm and somehow comforting. For about 10 minutes I walked in the pounding rain, enjoying the exotic sensation of my clothes getting soaked and giggling at the idea that I was being extra efficient this morning, taking my walk and showering at the same time. My hair was now wet, but I was going to get it cut that morning so it didn’t matter. It was just lovely to be rained on.
After my haircut, I spent much of the day at home, and did what I might do on a rainy day in other, wetter parts of the world. As the thunder rumbled and lightning flashed outside, I cleaned up here and there and decided to gather together odd items that we don’t need– a collection of key rings and carabiners from a bowl on the kitchen counter, an extra lunchbox from a kitchen cupboard, a too-tight skirt from my wardrobe, some of Theo’s old clothes and a book. As these were mostly clutter and not gift material, I decided to simply take these to my favorite local thrift store. I drove carefully on the slippery roads to Out of the Closet with my bag of assorted items and handed them over as a donation. It’s hard for me to walk into this store without looking around for something to buy, but today I did need something. A rain coat. I had recently lost the black raincoat that I’ve had for over 10 years. I don’t wear it that often, but I needed it today. Amazingly, they had one almost identical to the one I’d lost, practically brand new, and it was on sale for $4.50! I paid for the coat, put it on and drew the hood carefully over my new haircut, and walked outside back into the glorious rain.