Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dancing in the rain

However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. – Ecclesiastes 11:8 (NIV)

If they’d seen me, my neighbors doubtless thought I’d lost it.

“Look at that crazy woman dancing in the rain,” the newer neighbors might have said. “She’s doing what?” the ones who have known me for 30 years may have questioned. My husband said both—within hearing.
But the Saturday afternoon sun was sweltering, and sweat oozed from every pore of my body as I transplanted, with the help of my 8-year-old granddaughter, my cascading calibrachoa into a larger flower pot. I thought the job would be fairly simple—lining the bottom of the new pot with stones, dumping in some potting soil, then lifting the plant from the old pot into the bigger one. But the wider pot left a gap between the lip and the roots.

For a woman who wipes the counter after every little spill and pinches every penny, this was the dirty, time-consuming part of the job—scooping potting soil from the bag and shaking it into the gap, careful not to get any on the stone wall or in the grass. Dirt, as you all know, sticks to sweaty skin. By the time I was done, I felt pretty cruddy. Thank God for garden hoses and outside spigots—and summer rain showers.

Just as we finished rinsing out the old flower pot and hosing off the stone wall, I glanced down the hollow. A sheet of gray headed our way. Hurrying to retrieve the bedsheets from the clothesline, I motioned to my husband, who was astride the lawn tractor, mowing three weeks’ worth of growth.

As we stood on the back porch, I had the strangest urge to dance in the rain. There was no thunder, no lightning—only a warm, refreshing summer shower. I stepped off the porch. As my husband and granddaughter watched in disbelief, I opened my arms wide and lifted my face to the sky.

I beckoned to my granddaughter. “Come on,” I said.

She raised her eyebrows.

“It’s just water,” I told her. “It won’t hurt you.”

As she gingerly stepped off the porch, I handed my eyeglasses to my husband.

“Come on,” I urged him. “Don’t be such an old fuddy-dud. Have some fun.”

He just grinned. Madison joined me in a few barefoot twirls. All too soon the shower ended. I was soaked to the skin—and happier than I’d been in a long time.

In my younger days, I was impulsive, frequently succumbing to a restless spirit. But time and life tamed my youthful wildness—and squeezed a certain joy out of my soul, boxing me in with messy kitchens, piles of laundry, floors that needed swept, and bathrooms that were growing mold.

Every now and then you gotta ignore that boring do-list and do something crazy and spontaneous, even if you’re pushing 60 . . .  maybe because you’re pushing 60.
This is the day that the LORD has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).
Dear God, help me to inject joy into every day—even if it means being a little “crazy.” Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Psalm 100

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