“Oh, it’s raining.”
My ears pricked up, my head whipped around. Closed curtains to keep out the heat beating on the windows masked the sight, the cartoons and the air conditioner masked the sound of rain drops pattering on the roof, the fences, and the road.
“Let’s go, Reuben! Come and see!”
Out we went, into the weather to see for ourselves. It was raining. The rain we had prayed for, each morning as the weather app deceived us once again. Rain was promised for days. Each night we went to bed hoping to wake to the thunder in the night. Each morning I awoke disappointed to see the dry road. Yet I hoped. I held off watering with the hard town waterthat’s damaging my plants. I held off in hope that today the weather app would be right, and today would be the day when the clouds cracked open and the sweet warm droplets would pour from the sky.
It was happening.
For the shortest moment I thought we should go back inside now that we’ve seen it….
But the smell of the water, the sensation of the droplets on my skin, the sight of my son running in the rain held me fast to where I stood. We played, out there in the rain, in the thunder and the lightning, for what felt simultaneously hours and yet only moments. Together we fought the dragon bellowing thunder and lightning. We ran under the cubby out of the rain for seconds before the sweet feeling of water on our cheeks drew us back out.
We danced on the road, kicking down pipe puddles in bare feet. We unclogged gutters and watched leaves and debris rush past us.
I danced in the rain. I cried out with joy and life in the rain. I stood completely still and felt each drop rolling over my skin, into my mouth and sticking hair to my face. Our clothes were wet, our feet were dirty, our eyes were alive with joy and thankfulness. Arms wide, hearts open, and spirits being filled.
Days later, I ruminate on these short moments. What really drew me out into the rain? What was it in me that held me there, only being pulled away by the sound of a baby crying?
I am alive. Today, it feels good to be alive.
So many things in our lives feel out of our control; the actions of others, the weather, the future, the past. These things weigh on our hearts, our bodies, and our spirits. Sometimes, it does not feel good to be alive. Being alive feels painful, stressful, fearful. Uncertainty robs us of joy, anxiety steals away our hope, and emptiness disrupts our relationships. What can we do in these seasons but take every opportunity to enjoy. To rejoice in the tangible things surrounding us? When our brains and our spirits are in knots processing things that have been, and things that are to come, we can release ourselves to the sweet and simple feeling of water rolling off the end of our noses, the chest stirring sound of thunder in the distance, and the sound of splashing in a puddle. Seize those moments of being alive. Seize them, enjoy them, let them rouse you from your anxious slumber and remember them with peace as they inevitably slip into the past. Remember them with peace, take comfort in them, and let them stir you to life next time the wind caresses your face or sunlight warms your hair.
This is what it feels like to be alive. It feels good.