Caught In The Rain
I am not a morning person. Mainly because I love to stay up late at night. And I love to sleep. I am addicted to the snooze button and have multiple alarms set on my phone with various sounds, so I finally wake up enough to get out of bed.
So, when I suddenly woke up this morning almost an hour before my alarm, I wasn't sure what to do. After laying in bed for awhile and realizing I was not going to fall back to sleep I got the notion to get up and take a brisk walk before starting my day.
After getting dressed and lacing up my tennis shoes, I headed downstairs with my phone. At the last minute I decided to leave my phone and keys in the house and told my oldest son that I would just knock when I got home. Normally I throw my phone, keys and water bottle in a light, canvas drawstring backpack, but I left the house without everything. I even forgot to put on my watch.
It was a wonderful morning for a walk. It was cloudy and cool (for Houston). I decided to walk a new route through the neighborhood. I finally live in a neighborhood with lots of streets to choose from, so I don't get bored with my walk.
As I took in the houses, yards and beauty of the morning I reached the halfway point and turned around to head back. At that moment, little drops from above began to fall. The drizzle was refreshing and I thought if it just continued to drizzle I would be fine.
After turning a corner, the rain began to become steady and heavier. I turned another corner and within seconds the heavens opened and dumped on my world. As the rains came down, it was no longer a pleasant drizzle that felt refreshing. I suddenly felt like I should pick up the pace. I felt compelled to start running. To get out of the torrential downpour.
I hate running. My brief athletic career consisted of being in track in middle school. For one year. I tried to be a runner. After that year, I had knee issues and found out my feet, ankles and knees were not made for running. But, if I have a motivation to run, I will run. If my kids challenge me to a race, I have been known to slip off my sandals and race across grass at a rest station. When I was at a camp with my oldest daughter, I raced her around the camp and by the end of the weekend I could do it without getting a pain in my side. Now the rain and the idea of walking soaking wet all the way home was pushing me to run.
It didn't last long. The problem was it was raining so hard I could barely keep my eyes open, I was drenched within seconds and I knew there was no way I could run the whole way. So, I accepted reality and slowed back down to a brisk walk.
Instead, I focused on not getting splashed by cars and pickups driving through the neighborhood and tried my best to look like I had planned this excursion. I pictured myself looking very cute walking through the rain. You know, like they do in the movies. When the alternative is to compare myself to a drowned rodent I absolutely detest, I choose to believe I looked good.
Of course, once I was soaked there really wasn't a big reason to hurry home. I was able to stop and watch the rush of water pouring out of the storm drains into the runoff ditch behind our house. I was able to admire the swiftness of the water running along the curb and since my shoes were soon soaked I could walk through the large puddles with no guilt, just childlike glee. It was freeing.
When I finally got home I walked up to the front porch and got ready to head around to the back where I told my son I would knock. Suddenly I heard my husband's voice call to me. I turned to find him standing at the front door with towels and a grin on his face. What a guy.
TripLearning is not just about the places in this world to visit and enjoy, but it is about the journey and experiences we have anytime we leave our house and venture into the unknown. Even a familiar place like your neighborhood can take on a completely different look when walking through it in the rain. Things like storms, flat tires, lost blankets or detours can seemingly ruin a trip.
Or they can be an opportunity for us to slow down, adapt, reflect, and let go of control. That may be exactly what we need to REALLY learn.
In the end, I have no regrets about taking my walk this morning. I am extremely thankful I did not have my phone with me because it would have gotten soaked. My wet clothes needed to be washed anyway. My shoes will eventually dry out. And I felt very refreshed and renewed after surviving the storm.
When you leave your house, be ready to learn. Keep your eyes open. See the things you pass every day and really notice the details.
Enjoy the journey.
And don't fear the storms in your life.