I’ve heard it said that rain is a sign of hope and all things good. Rain cleanses and makes ready a new day and a new way. It washes away the road dust and buys us a few more days until we simply must wash the filth off of the rear bumper and the chalky film from the car windows. It gives us an honest view. A clear perspective. And bonus, rain even purifies the air!
The forecast of showers is generally met with a scowl rather than a grin, but this story is less about the rain and more about the song we choose to sing in it.
Raindrops keep falling on my head, but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red, crying’s not for me, ‘cause, I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining, because I’m free, nothings worrying me– A happy little tune written by Hal David & Burt Bacharach for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Singing on- It won’t be long, ‘till happiness steps up to greet me. Ah, the seventies. I’m suddenly seeing everything washed in orange and brown and finished in polyester plaids bellowing over clogs hanging on with every step. Loved, loved, loved clogs! And that smell? Aqua Net hairspray. It was like super-glue in an aerosol can! Groovy!
Cue music-I’m free, nothings worrying me…
The raindrops pelted our faces as the thunder announced an uninvited guest. Lightening! Our britches were soaked through as we disembarked from our six foot metal yacht, or so it seemed to us. It was the only vessel we had ever sailed in and we thought it magnificent! Our family of five had exhausted the lazy summer afternoon fishing in what now seems to best qualify as a two-person boat. Never-the-less, the memory is vivid and soaked with the joy of living.
As the clouds heaved, Mom and Dad had us lock our hands together and began winding us through the woods and brush like a train without breaks. Our little legs could only stretch a foot or two at a time as the hyper-walk transitioned into a gallop. I wasn’t sure if we were in real danger, as if danger has a Pollyannish counterpart, nevertheless, I had figured out how to crack the code of knowing; by studying Mom’s face. I could tell by the depth of particular lateral creases across her forehead that all was not well. Dad seemed to be in total control. Not tangled up in the what if’s. Why would he be? Army Veteran. Green Beret. This scenario was like a splashy theme park to him. But Mom, did she know something more? Suddenly, as if she could sense my primary decoding skills scanning her face, she pulled a rabbit out of her hat. “Ok, ok kids. Let’s sing!” She said with her superior matter-of-fact Motherly tone. And so we did. She made us croon the 1969 Academy Award winning song, Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. But unlike those who covered this score; Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, and Mel Torme’ the “Green Family” did not captivate the world with their shaky, terrified, pitchy voice rendition. We had only an audience of despondent Oak and Maple trees. And still, we sang.
Mom was determined to not let the rain wash away our day of fun. She changed the tone and tense. This memory is not about the fear or struggle or even about the rain. It is about the ability of choosing well and changing the forecast.
Rain will fall. Remember, it is designed for our purpose and our pleasure. The song we choose to sing in the midst of the soaking determines the quality of our shelter. We can learn to dance in it or stand and cry in it but…we’re never gonna stop the rain by complaining so pick a tune, splash on, and dance like the world is begging for more!
What about your song?