I like the rain. My mama didn't. She was as afraid of a bad cloud as anybody I ever knew. Not me. I enjoy the rain -- and the stormier the better, as long as I am not in harm's way.
Sometimes we know the rain is coming. In fact, nowadays, with tweets and texts and auto-alerts and 24-hour cable news and, of course, the WSB weather team, we usually know when and where the storms are going to hit long before they actually happen. That's good for practical purposes, but sometimes I long for the old days when a sudden summer storm would come up out of nowhere.
I will never forget that camp meeting Sunday in 1981 when my lovely wife, Lisa, and I got caught in a sudden summer storm at the spring at Salem Campground. We were drenched. We were soaked to the skin, as they say, and had a delightful time getting all dried out.
I was staying in an old sharecropper's cabin on the Mississippi Delta once and watched storm clouds gather across unplowed cotton fields that were miles and miles away. I could tell that the storm was going to make a beeline right toward me. It did. I could smell the rain as it moved right across those black fields and ran for shelter just as the heavy drops of water began hitting the ancient tin roof of that old cabin. It was like music to my ears as I lay on the small iron bed, and I could imagine what the previous occupants of the cabin must have thought as they sought shelter from the storms of their life in that same humble dwelling.
When I used to work at Bert Adams Scout Reservation, in a previous life, we had a little campfire skit that we would do from time to time. We would "create" a rainstorm. Everyone would close their eyes and start beating their index fingers together, all at the same time. Three hundred index fingers being pounded together at the same time sounds a lot like the pitter-patter of raindrops just beginning to fall. Then we would do two fingers and then three and four and so forth until the group sounded like a pounding storm.
Then we would make the storm abate by going back down to four fingers and then three and two and so forth. I guess you had to be there to get the full experience, but the next time you have 300 or so Boy Scouts hanging around, give it a try.
I have endured a few personal storms lately. You probably have, too. Our neighbors to the north went through a quite powerful weather event a couple of weeks ago. Speaking metaphorically, the nation, as a whole, has endured some stormy weather over the past decade or so, and there may be bigger and darker and more powerful clouds on the horizon. Some people fear that these clouds will develop into a deluge that will wash us all away. I don't think that's the case.
One of the reasons that I like rain so much, and rainstorms in particular -- other than the obvious reason that it makes things grow and washes out the atmosphere -- is because it reminds me of the power of the Almighty. I am reminded by the thunder and lightning and wind and rain that no matter how much I might like to pretend that I am in control of my own destiny, there is a power much greater than me that is really in charge.
When I was a younger man I would go outside and dance in the rain. If I were hiking through the woods and a storm came up I would keep on hiking. I would laugh at the thunder and dare the lightning bolts to hit me. Now I am older and a bit wiser and have put away the foolish things of childhood. Now I am at least smart enough to come in out of the rain and to seek shelter from the storms of life.
But I still hang on to this simple truth -- and it is one that I have shared often with my family and friends. Every time I have ever gotten wet -- each and every time -- I have gotten dry again eventually. As a matter of fact, I am dry as a bone, right this minute.
I don't know what storms might be beseeching you right now, but I know where you can find shelter and I know that no matter how hard it might be raining at the moment that, eventually, the rain will stop, the clouds will roll away and the sun will come out -- and no matter how wet you might have gotten, you will eventually get dry again.
I like the rain.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.