This has been on my mind for a while now and the day of our first snow of the season felt like a great day to let my fingers do the talking.
Recently we had a stretch of rain in my area and I was forced to take a walk on one of the days we were blessed with the wet stuff. It was during this jaunt I finally figured out why I like rain.
Over the years, some of my favorite activities have taken place during a rain. Like the time I shot 39 in a down pour. Or that time I made it home from a run just as the storm hit (trees were down everywhere) and I got soaked. Then there is that time we drove home in a torrential weather system, hail and all, moving along at 35 MPH and probably still going too fast.
There are many more moments like these but I’ll spare you the trip down memory lane. The point of this is to share with you how I finally figured out why I enjoy rain during my most recent adventure.
What I realized was thatnduring all of those events, the isolation forced upon me through the curtain of rain was in fact a meditating experience. I know this now because recently I began my journey of mindfulness practice and the similarities between them are striking.
The calm, quiet focus of that round of golf is unforgettable. Even though I was in a foursome, I was alone because of the rain. Dripping water off of the bill of my cap placed a wall between my companions and me. The solituted was incredible. I was able to eliminate the chatter of meaningless conversation (with my playing partners, but also myself) and elevate my concentration.
The rainstorm I almost beat home was a similar experience. I could see the clouds move in and feel the still in the air. Instead of focusing on the aches and pains of the run, I focused on being efficient and beating the storm. Although I did get drenched, I felt like I still won the race. The calm I felt as I pushed my body to it’s limits was exhilirating.
Back to my recent walk in the rain. Once again, rain drops were creating a wall of solitude, this time off of my umbrella. I was getting wet on the edges of my body, my feet, my elbows, my knees. Just the places I couldn’t get covered adequatly. But the dampness was a reminder that it was the elements and me.
In that moment of solitude, I realized I was meditating. I was following my breath and focusing only on it. Time slipped away and I was transported back to the time I was running with a buddy and the sound of his breath and my ability to focus on it, gave me the greatest feeling I have ever experienced.
My practice will get me there again, but this time it will be my breath and I will be dry.