We were enduring a typical Pacific Northwest underwater baseball practice the other day. I was hunched under my giant umbrella, wearing a slicker, sitting on my Tommy Bahama chair. Wanda, on the other hand, was running around like a maniac through the field, kicking a ball, getting soaked and loving it.
She pulled down the hat on the slicker and just let the rain run off her skin.
“Do you wanna come sit with Mamma?” I asked.
“Mo-om!” she answered, “It’s okay. I’m alright with the rain.”
Sometimes I’m alright with the rain too. Sometimes I can be surrounded by all the junk that’s out there in the world and think, This will pass. I’ll just let it roll off my back. I’m alright with the rain.
Other times, I’m hunched down in a parka with my umbrella, afraid to leave my house, afraid to turn on the TV or Facebook because I just don’t want to hear one more depressing news story. Everything feels too personal. If it happened to her, it might as well have happened to me. I get mired in the false belief that the world is a scary place, that there’s more bad then good.
A friend recently reminded me that the news doesn’t report every time a plane lands. It only reports the crashes. For every hateful or fearful political post on Facebook, there are a billion acts of kindness that slip quietly by. The reality of my life is pretty blissful, if I can learn to be alright with the rain in my periphery, if I can make my heart understand the differences between the things I can change and the things I can’t.
A few days after the baseball practice, Wanda and I were driving in the Swagger Wagon. Suddenly the rain was not okay.
“Mom,” she cried, “There’s rain all over the windows!”
“It’s okay,” I told her, thinking, We live in Seattle. What else is new?
“It’s making me nervous! I don’t like it.”
“The wipers keep the windshield clean so we can see where we’re going.”
“But there’s rain here and here and here,” she said, pointing at the side windows and parts of the windshield the wipers couldn’t touch.
“But the wipers clear off just enough that I can drive safely and get us where we need to go. It’s gonna be okay.”
“But I want all the rain to go away.”
“Well that’s not going to happen until the sun comes out.”
“When is the sun coming?” she asked.
“I don’t know, Sweets. I don’t know. But for now we’ll be fine.”
I truly don’t know when ALL the rain will go away or when the sun will come but I do know it will and until it does, I know that enough of the rain will be cleared away. I can see enough to get where I need to go. And, we’re doing just fine.