Here in the high desert where I live, it only rains about 12 inches a year. The days heat up fast and the nights cool down quickly. Since a real downpour is rare, they always remind me of my adventures with rain.
Rainclouds can make a gloomy Eeyore or the perfect background for art and lattes, depending on the circumstances. We could fill books with our rain stories…how they’ve spoiled picnics or made a rainbow at just the right moment.
I thought I’d share mine since it’s been raining all week. Wouldn’t trade these stories. I love sunny days, but I think we need the rainy days, too. There is an Arab proverb, “All sunshine makes a desert.”
Here are my first, worst, next and best times it rained.
The First Times it Rained
Most of my earliest memories are from Kansas, so thunderstorms bring me childhood nostalgia.
I would be feeding my horses who suddenly tossed their manes in nervous excitement. A gust of cool wind would power wash the prairie, a massive thundercloud forming. Once inside, I saw the wind make the curtains dance and carry a humid, sweet, fresh scent. Ahhh. First the lightning, and then thunder crackled. We’d stay away from the windows after we rushed to close them. The porch furniture might tumble over, and the trampoline could be in the hedgerow the next morning. Just another Midwest storm of the sky, giving us puddles and adventure.
The Worst Time it Rained
The worst time it rained was when our cousins drove all the way from Texas to join us for a camping trip in Yellowstone National Park. We couldn’t wait to show them the grandeur of Old Faithful, the grizzlies, and the Teton mountain range. But it was a cold and wet initiation. We ended up traipsing on soggy boardwalks next to caldrons and paint pots. There were choices like, “Should I dart down the rocky .25 mile trail to get a glimpse of another waterfall or just sit in the van in comfort and babysit?”
I dramatically wrote in my journal that it was like, “letting the water jars of the Heavens soak you over and over, the branches your only cover.”
Camping in the rain can be rough, but we managed to do it with gusto and memorable moments for the books.
The Next Time it Rained
My friend Keri and I visited a friend in Illinois and then took the train to explore Chicago’s skyscrapers. It was a foggy day but it just added to the misty magic of the big city. We took selfies by the bean and strolled part of the Magnificent Mile, clutching our umbrella and ducking in shops when we needed tea or cover. The rain convinced us to buy tickets to the Art Institute of Chicago. By now, we expect rain on our adventures together (see the PEI trip).
Rain makes traveling so much more exciting, doesn’t it?
The Best Time it Rained
Yes, “rain” coupled with “outdoor wedding” summons nightmares. But, even though I just told you we live in a desert, it rained on our wedding day. Sprinkled might be the better word — just during the walk down the aisle, my dad’s giveaway speech, and the opening prayer. The drops refreshed and cooled me — I had no idea there was a cloud in the sky until I stepped outdoors. (Thanks to my sisters for dousing my curls in hairspray.) After the little rain shower, which my sweet guests prayed away, it cleared for lovely lighting and pleasant July ambience. During the reception, our friend told me that the rain “was very Jane Austen.”
It was the best time it rained, simply because it was just the best day!
The Last Time it Rained
It’s been pouring this week. I’ve felt cozy and also cooped up. But I know better than to wish the rain away — a gift of life-giving renewal. And so are life’s storms, too. If we always had smooth weather, we would trust in it instead of our Anchor, wouldn’t we?
I Thessalonians tells us that we can expect trials. We’re destined for trials. There’s a rich purpose in them:
We all love the sunshine, but the Arabs have a proverb that “all sunshine makes the desert”; and it is a matter for common observation that the graces of Christian living are more often apparent in the case of those who have passed through great tribulation. God desires to get as rich crops as possible from the soil of our natures. There are certain plants of the Christian life, such as meekness, gentleness, kindness, humility, which cannot come to perfection if the sun of prosperity always shines.F. B. Meyer, Our Daily Homily
In seasons of being watered/drenched, sometimes I’m tempted to be like Eeyore. But I truly want to cultivate a heart of thankfulness for how God is growing character in me, as I abide in Him, the True Vine.
Keep planting yourself in Him! He’ll never leave you, rain or shine.
PS. I would love to hear YOUR rainy day memories!
Header PC: Danielle Dolson