Sunday, August 27, 2006

Rain Down

When I was a junior in college I read a novel called Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins for my American history 1945-the present class.
One particular passage stuck with me. I think about it on a regular basis, even now some 16 years later. I had occasion to read this passage again this summer. This time it was presented to me as an example of choosing a good attitude. Here is the passage:

As was my custom in such elements I hunkered down against the rain, drew my head into my collar, turned my eyes to the street, tensed my footsteps and proceeded in misery. But my hosts, I noticed, reacted in a quite a another way. They strolled calmly and smoothly, their bodies perfectly relaxed. They did not hunch away from the rain but rather glided through it. They directed faces to it and did not flinch as it drummed their cheeks. They almost reveled in it. Somehow I found this significant. They accepted the rain. They were not at odds with it, they did not deny it or combat it; they accepted it and went with it in harmony and ease. I tried it myself. I relaxed my neck and shoulders and turned my gaze into the wet. I let it do to me what it would. Of course, it was not trying to do anything to me. What a silly notion. It was simply falling as rain should, and I another phenomenon of nature, was sharing the space in which it fell. It was much better regarding it that way. I got no wetter than I would otherwise, and if I did not actually enjoy the wetting, at least I was free of my tension. I could even smile.
So tonight, as I stepped out into the pouring rain, the words of Tom Robbins again ran through my head, as drops of water ran down my face. I relaxed and let my shoulders droop into their normal position. I set out on my somewhat long walk to the car. I smiled.

How about you, ready to be at ease in the rain?

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