Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Puddles are Dancing

I love rain. If you've read my bio, you know that I love rain; it's one of my favorite things. But why? When most hate a rainy day, why do I find it so appealing? I asked myself this question this afternoon, as I sat here watching it rain during a break from the closet cleaning I've been inspired to do this afternoon.

It affects me differently than most every one that I know. For most, it is sad and gloomy, and drains them of energy. For me, however, it makes me happy, even energized. I don't know why this is, but I have some thoughts on what it possibly could be. First, though, the things I love about rain.

I love the sound of rain. It is soothing to me. I love the melodious drumming of the rain as it drips off the trees, house, and carport. All the other noises have to take a back seat as the rain takes over in the music department for a while. Occasionally,  there is even some thunder to add a punch of percussion to the tune.   

I love to watch it rain.  It is calming to me to watch the rain pelt down onto the pavement.  Seeing the rain pour out of the neighbor's gutters is mesmerizing.  Watching the puddles "dance"-- a term coined by my youngest son when he was much younger to indicate that it is, indeed, still raining, when the downpour has become light enough to wonder if it has stopped or not. Are the puddles "dancing?" Then, no, it has not stopped.  

Side note: Apparently, this irritates or annoys him, for when I mention puddles dancing, he still rolls his eyes.  But it stuck with me. And I love that it did.

I love the smell of rain.  There is no better smell than the air after a spring rain.  The air smells and feels like it has been "washed," and the trees and plants look so fresh and clean, even if only for a little while. This makes me happy.

These are some of the things I love about rain. But why?  Without intense psychotherapy, or having it revealed to me by God, I really don't know. I think, though, that it takes me back to a time in my childhood when I felt safe and loved.  

I can clearly remember getting ready for school when I was around eight, with the sound of the pouring rain outside. I was with my mother, and therefore, I was safe in my childish mind. She had to drive me to school when it was raining, and this made me feel loved. I remember being dropped off at my beloved elementary school--the one that I wrote about when they tore it down a few years ago. It was early morning, but because of the rain it looked dark outside from the classroom. This is a good memory to me. Therefore, what most perceive as gloomy is comforting to me.

You see, I don't have a bunch of memories of my mom and dad doing stuff with me when I was little. They both worked all the time it seemed. We were dirt poor, and they both worked long hours in factories to provide for us. In the fifties and sixties, the majority of the moms I knew, other than mine, did not work outside the home. Child-rearing was considered an honored profession in those days. Not that it's not today, but in today's economy, one income is generally not enough anymore.

Too bad that my child mind did not understand that working to provide food and shelter = love. My parents were good, and they loved me, but they never uttered the words to me. Since my primary love language is words of affirmation (even though I didn't know it then), I needed to hear it said, but never did.  So I picked up on the times when they showed me love with my secondary love language, quality time.  

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the happy times when I felt loved and safe were most likely punctuated guessed it....rain. 

I walked to school except when it rained. On rainy days, my mom drove me. Mom spending time with eight-year-old = love.

I could sit on the porch with my mom and dad, and sometimes my grandma, and watch it rain and feel loved AND safe, because quality time = love.

So there you have it.  A glimpse into my heart and what makes it happy. I struggled with this one; but I really, really feel like God wanted me to share it. I live to serve Him and do His will, and I'm honored that He lets me write to express what He has shown me.

Do your children a favor; show and tell them you love them in all love languages, at least until they are old enough for you to know what their love language is. Then you can focus on that one or two. Until then, tell them you love them. Hug them. Spend time with them. It will make you both happy, and what may not seem like anything to you may just be their rainy-drive-to-school memory some day.

Now if you'll excuse me...the puddles are still dancing. I think I'll watch awhile.

"Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies." Psalm 17:7 NLT