You know the old saying, “When it rains, it pours”? Well, that’s not always true, and I’ve found that out so often in my life. Sometimes when it rains it just mists, that light stuff that you don’t even recognize as rain until it has effectively soaked you in an hour’s worth of being outside. Other times it sprinkles, steady enough for you to notice it and want to extract your umbrella from your car but not enough that you feel you will catch pneumonia if you continue to stand there without an umbrella. Then there’s the abbreviated rain, the kind that keeps starting and stopping. A few days ago I drove through this type of rain and it’s exasperating because I get to a point where I can finally turn off the windshield wipers and four minutes later I have to turn them on again. This process gets to be so tedious, but, as I said before, that may not be pouring, but it’s without a doubt still raining.
Ben Franklin did many experiments with weather, some of which were incredibly dangerous, in the hopes of gaining some new knowledge of the world in which he lived. Meteorologists today do something similar by studying maps and charts, comparing that data to conditions just like those conditions and what happened as a result. It’s still a guessing game, though, and rain is a tricky enough devil to keep them, and us, guessing. Ask me tonight if I think it will rain tomorrow and I can give you all kinds of possible answers. Ask me tomorrow morning if it will rain by afternoon and I will be nearly just as clueless. It’s this uncertainty that drives me mad, and all the percentages in the world won’t save me that frustration. Whether it’s 30% or 90% chance of rain, I still have to suffer through the time before the rain, when I am confused and bothered. Some anticipation is just anxiety, plain and simple.
So why do we spend so much time trying to figure out the weather? Why is it the #5 conversation topic in the world? That one’s easy to answer, and that’s because weather is universal. We may have earthquakes in the Midwest but they also have earthquakes in Japan, and Australia, and Papua, New Guinea. There may be hurricanes out West but there are also hurricanes in Mexico, Argentina, and Siberia. Weather, while it drives us crazy, is also something we all share. Whether we love it or hate it, chart it or just let it happen to us, weather affects everyone, everywhere.
Of course you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about since the phrase, “When it rains, it pours” isn’t truly talking about rain, after all. What it really means is that when things are bad, they just get worse, and this could apply to anything in life. Is this statement as true as it sounds, or is it just as misleading as if we took it literally, as I did above? Sometimes the devastating things in life happen and they’re done. It’s not always a given that one horrible thing will follow another, or the rule of “three,” that deaths come in threes. That’s all superstition, even if it does seem to happen that way on occasion. That’s no way to live, though, always being anxious about something that will come to top whatever monstrosity or horror that has just befallen you. It’s true that sometimes it mists in life, that it can be a steady light rain that soaks you through by the end of the day, but it never knocked you off your feet. You’re still fighting. It’s also true that sometimes the sprinkling rain comes that soaks you much sooner, that makes you want to grab for that lifeline. Grab that lifeline, talk to your friends, get that comfort you need. This too shall pass. It’s even more so true that sometimes life can seem like a steady downpour, but always remember that the rain does let up eventually. Even if it rains for a week, it will stop raining.
Learn to appreciate the dry times, but never wish the rainy times away, because it’s through how you deal with the rainy times that reveals your inner strength. Just have an umbrella handy and you’ll be fine.