Swimming In the Rain in Vanuatu: A Quick Story

MOMA Rain Room 2 horizontal
Stolen from http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/strolling-between-the-rain-drops-inside-momas-rain-room/

“God is in the rain!”

I had been saving my to-do list all week to do today, Saturday, the day there was nothing I could do for the Peace Corps office. When I stepped outside with the intention of walking all over Port Vila for the rest of the day, I was reminded how sheltering a western-style building can be (versus the bamboo walls of my house on Erromango). During my lazy morning I had been completely ignorant of the fact that it was POURING RAIN. For anyone who has spent time in Vanuatu, you know this weather is not exactly conducive to being productive.

Most people who know me know that I used to adore a good downpour. When grooming dogs, if I noticed bucketfuls of rain pouring from the sky, I would put my dog away and take a moment to dance in the rain, with onlooking co-workers and clients probably wondering what was wrong with me. Rain simply evoked my need to embrace that very moment and otherwise not have a care in the world.

Due to no longer having the convenience of power dryers at my disposal, rain has since become, at best, an excuse to hide in my house, and at worse, a hindrance to accomplishing anything at all until the sun peeked out again, with the promise of extreme humidity, high levels of mosquitoes, and plenty of mud.

So, faced with a thunderstorm with a long walk ahead of me this morning, I decided to recall and embrace my Portland-Enlightened self and rejoice in the rain. I turned away from the bus stop and started walking.

Within minutes my glasses were rendered useless, so I took them off. Suddenly the ground was much further away and I was towering over the mud and rivers beneath my feet. I felt like I was on top of the world! Feeling euphoric and full of glee, I grinned and waved at every person I passed. Lucky for not wearing my glasses, I could only see them wave back without seeing how many facial expressions were communicating my perceived insanity.

Apart from the waving I could make out from under awnings, inside buildings, and inside vehicles, I took note of the buses that were passing by me. There was quite a bit of traffic swooshing past me on the half flooded road–and every single one of them went out of their way (sometimes WAY out of their way) to not spray the muddy lake on the road onto me. It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to notice the continual small things humans do for each other. It felt SO good.

Long story short, as I was simply enveloped by the wet embrace of the rain, I was reminded that whenever I so choose, I–and everyone and everything I encounter–can tower over the muck and simply bath in the goodness of the moment.

Who needs therapy when we have rain?

p.s. To read about the last time I so thoroughly enjoyed puddle diving, click here and read about Peter’s and my one evening in Chicago.


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