This past month it has rained non-stop at my little home in the country. Every once in a while, we get a peak of sunshine tempting us to believe the rain has left. My eighteen-month-old son wanted to go outside to play on one of those rare sunshine days last week. When he got outside, he ran straight to my porch which looked more like an island in the middle of a lake due to the large standing puddle of water around it from the rain. He literally jumped off the porch into the large puddle of water landing on his butt with a big splash. He did this over and over. Laughing hysterically as the water and mud splashed all over him. He did not have a care in the world. He was living his best life. As I watched him, I smiled, it reminded me of the importance of dancing in the rain. 

Sometimes I wonder if our world was meant to keep up with the high-speed lifestyle we live now. I mean, take into account how the earth healed when we went into lockdown as a world. How pollution cleared from the air, how rivers became clear, how fish came back into areas they had vacated, how things became greener because it had more oxygen and the list goes on. Have we ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe we live too fast paced for our planet? Maybe, our planet needs us to be in balance the same way it requires itself to be in balance in order to keep on providing for us the way it does. We need sun and equally we need rain. We need day and we need night. It is part of that yin and yang we all hear so much about.

I can almost hear my mother singing when I was a child “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden, along with the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain some time…” there was a lot of truth packed into that old country song.

I Beg your Pardon, I Never Promised you a Rose Garden – Lynn Anderson

The older I got, the more I realized just how true it really was. It is part of life. The good and the bad. It all comes into play and one would not be there without the other. Good would not even exist if there was not bad…right? It is a complex thought, but one that once I realized it completely it set me free.

See, when we realize that our planet needs balance. We need balance. Everything needs balance. We suddenly admire the sun when it rises, we feel the rain when it falls, we enjoy the crispness of a winter morning or the fluffy clouds over a garden of blooming flowers. We lean into the everyday moments that get lost when we are too busy to notice. The same way the planet stops and heals because it has time to do so when we are not pressing it for more and more and more resources. We suddenly can enjoy a two-hour nap if it is needed and we can sip some coffee if we want without guilt. One thing I realized when I was visiting France this year was just how people there enjoyed life. They got up and went to the bakery to eat a pastry for breakfast. They enjoyed freshly made orange juice. They picked up fresh items on their way home to make dinner later on that day. They laughed. They slowed down. They literally relished life as if it was the last day they were going to be here. The time I spent there taught me just how wonderful it felt to decompress and enjoy life. How I could unplug and life went on. Life is meant to be enjoyed. 

Truth is, we all have good days. We like that part of the balance, but what happens when the storms come into our lives? What happens when we lose a loved one? What happens when we get that diagnosis, we never thought we would hear? What happens when we lose our job? The reality of how much we live in balance is all told at that precise moment. Because if we are living in balance, we will accept major life happenings as part of the life course we are walking. It is necessary to get to the next curve in the road. We have to walk through the rain to see the sun again on the other side. When we understand this profound and magical element of mindset, we can embrace the things that are not so pleasant. We can choose to become the person we are meant to be. We can learn the lessons in life we are given.

My dad once told me that character is what you do when times are hard. The real you will show up then. It is so true. We must learn to shift our “rain” into the best moments we can.

David Aldridge – Author’s father

We must learn that we cannot control if it rains or the sun pops out in our life, but we can choose our attitude with it all. We can choose to enjoy it. If you ever need a reminder, just watch a toddler jumping in puddles. 

Next time you run into some rain…either physically or metaphorically speaking…grab your boots, let down your hair, go jump in some puddles and dance in the rain. It is your life, live it.