I love the rain, its muffled sounds through the glass pane in the morning before the sun glows above the rooftops and spills into the room one slat space at a time. I love the practice of opening blinds each morning flooding life into empty rooms. Rain gives shape to the air, animates the motionless gray of the streets. It is the tiny cold tips of needles tapping my skin with a temporary chill, then sliding away as if it had never existed. Yet the sensation is still there – lingering – like the ghost of a discarded lover. It is the permission I need to let go as it washes away the to do to do to do, sweeping it away to rest in someone else’s yard, where they can pick it up and carry on.
I am taking part in this new project on binduwiles.com called 21.5.800. Participants write 800 words per day for the 21 days and do yoga for 5 out of each 7 days. Since I have just begun doing Yoga again after taking a few years off and since I really need to get back to the daily writing routine I seem to never have managed to keep up, I think this is a fabulous project to partake in. For more information visit binduwiles.com.
Today I danced in the rain – swirled and twirled through large, plush rain drops, held my face to the burgeoning sky, mouth wide open, and allowed its nourishment to cleanse me. It is something I have been visualizing in my mind’s eye for a while now. When I was a little girl growing up in Orlando, Florida, I used to play outside in the hurricanes. The rains were torrential and I would stand in the middle of the street letting the healing power of rain wash over me. I would disappear within the sheets of rain and blustery winds no longer the abused little girl but instead a rain goddess, a part of something bigger and more powerful than my tiny, broken spirit.
I wrote a poem about this experience entitled “Remnants of a Hurricane” and you can read it here: http://southeastreview.org/2009/bryant0420.php
As I navigate my way through the maze that is my past, the need to be cleansed by the rain has become greater and greater. I could see myself hands outstretched from my sides twirling like a ballerina, face to the sky, letting the diamond drops wash away the brokenness. Today as I was walking with my boys at the park it began to rain. Everyone in the park ran to take cover, but I continued to walk the trail. My oldest son complained about getting wet and ruining his clothes and his cell phone. My youngest son had a devilish grin on his face but was trying to conceal his excitement in order to stay in line with what his brother wanted. As they stood under the nearby shelter, I walked right past them and just kept going. Eventually they followed. By the time the rain began to pour down there was no shelter nearby. I stopped and let the rain drench my clothes, my hair, and my skin. I let the rain wash away the pain.
Why is it that we are so afraid to let go, to embrace our childlike wonder? Why do we say: I don’t want to get my hair wet? I don’t want my makeup to run? What if someone sees me twirling around dancing in the rain? What will they think? I don’t want my clothes to get wet? What other excuses do we use to keep ourselves adult and responsible and safely within the box adulthood has imprisoned us in?
I laughed with pure guilt-free joy for the first time in many years as the rain came down. I watched my youngest son dance and the smile on his face was priceless. He began puddle jumping, getting covered with mud and drenching his brand new shoes and socks, going back and re-attacking a puddle if he hadn’t landed just in the center for optimal splash. It was the most freeing experience I have had since childhood and judging from the look on his face, he too experienced a sense of complete freedom from rules and conformity.
I need more of these moments. More moments of letting go of the responsible adult. More moments of letting go of what other people might think of me. More moments of letting go of the limitations I have set for myself. I need more moments of making my visions come to life. I stood still and turned my face towards the sky, let the drops plunge onto my face feeling each small sting. Feeling. Rain. In the moment. There was nothing else there but me and the rain. I raised my hands to the sky and welcomed the cleansing, welcomed the freedom, welcomed the manifestation of a vision into reality. I was wholly in the moment and nothing else mattered. The pain that had been gripping me for two days washed away. The fears disappeared. For that moment I was completely free from the chains that have kept me bound and unable to move forward for so many years. They disintegrated from the weight of the rain.
I hope that you, too, will find the thing you most want to do, but are afraid to do and will as Nike says, JUST DO IT. I hope you won’t let the opinions of others stop you from fulfilling the vision you have for yourself. What is it that would be most freeing in this moment for you? Find a way to make it happen. Visualize it. Manifest it. Live it.