The rain has come. It is not a gentle, caressing mist, but rather a wild, powerful force that takes my breath away. It can be sunny and warm one moment, then in the next the clouds have gathered and a torrential downpour begins. Our electricity flickers and finally shuts off, and we rush around the house to place large buckets underneath areas prone to dripping. It is hard to predict just when the storms will come, and when they will go.
Today, after the rain ceased, I walked to town to purchase some bread, collect the mail, and stretch my legs after being indoors most of the day. I had almost forgotten about the stormy weather until I stood in the doorway of the grocery store and looked out. Big drops of rain were beginning to fall, gaining in intensity as I debated whether to venture out or stay in. Truthfully though, it wasn’t much of a debate; I didn’t have far to go, and what’s a little rain? I zipped up my jacket, put on my hood, and set for home, for once not walking faster than everyone else, as people everywhere were dashing for cover. The rain poured down, turning the gravel streets to mud and carving deep gouges in the earth. The clouds were racing across the sky and lightning flashed all around me, followed closely by booming thunder.
Suddenly, a flash of yellow caught my eye, and a man rode right in front of me on his vintage road bike. He was wearing a bright yellow rain suit that covered him from head to toe. It reminded me so much of Portland that I laughed aloud and couldn’t keep the smile from spreading across my face. After all, it’s one thing to get caught in the rain unawares, but something entirely different to plan on it. I, like him, was wearing my rain jacket and so was maybe subconsciously hoping to get wet. A little crazy? Yes. Happy? Most definitely! I smiled all the way home, thinking of the unexpected ray of sunshine that had crossed my path, even though my pants were soaked, the mail a little soggy, and my feet splattered with mud.
Once home, exhilarated from my wet walk, I found myself singing this hymn: When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!” Welcome back, Rain. You nourish the plants, provide cheap entertainment, keep things exciting, and make things well with my soul!
As for all you cyclists saddling up for another wet winter, just think of all that rain flowing across your back as many drops of peace, flowing like a river. Your dedicated ride in the rain is probably just the piece of sunshine that someone is looking for. I am riding with you in spirit!