I have a confession to make. I love walking in the rain. Doesn’t sound too earth shattering to reveal, huh?
I recently re-discovered this love. For years, I thought I didn’t like the rain—it was messy, burdensome and too somber for my adult self—so I took great lengths to avoid being outside when it rained and climbed on the collective bandwagon of folks who complain grumpily when it rains.
And then this week it rained. I slipped on some pretty rain boots and an incredible waterproof jacket and set out on my usual walk with Dr. Pepper. I sloshed around in rain puddles and I watched how the branches gently held small crystal teardrops on the tips of their tendrils.
I felt the stillness that the rain brings.
I embraced parts of me that I usually keep hidden in the sunlight — things such as regret, loneliness and the ability to slow down and sit in the stillness.
I held space for all parts of me to exist. Especially the messy, imperfect and untamed parts.
And a memory came splashing around my mind’s corner and surprised me. As a child I would beg my mother to play outside in the rain. She usually gave in and let me go. I reveled in the pure joy of frolicking in nature. Giddy by the way the rain would drench my outer core and still feel so freeing, my heart would flutter at the mere idea of such freedom. I embraced the messiness and possible social scrutiny for my own pleasure.
And somehow, between then and now, I lost that path to freedom. My adult self became more concerned about how it would appear to be out frolicking or what I may discover about myself if I followed my bliss.
My social self whispered into my mind like a scolding teacher — freedom disguised as play is not for you anymore.
So, I swapped freedom for social convention and I tucked away the opportunity to explore myself more freely. Until now.
I wonder what else have I buried underneath that social self that is begging to get out? A question I can’t wait to explore.
Is there something you loved to do as a child that you put on a shelf when you “became” an adult? Something that even thinking about it now forces you to smile almost involuntarily.
Today I challenge all of us to think of one thing we did as a child that we haven’t done in a very long while. Something we think is child’s play.
I am giving you and me permission to go out and frolic in something we once loved and chase the freedom for pleasure’s sake.