A rainy day might mean a change of summer plans, but it has a lot of gifts to offer as well.
Posted in , Aug 10, 2017
“Sweet summer rain—like God’s own mercy.” This line is uttered by a bone fide villain in the 2000 Coen brothers film, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” But I return to it as a beautiful and comforting mantra every summer, on those days when the skies open up.
Summer rain is one of those things we can choose to view from a positive or negative perspective. On the negative side, rain cancels picnics and beach visits, creates soggy fields, gives quarter to mosquitoes and, when real storms form, can cause trees or power lines to fall.
Those downers are realities we need to acknowledge—part of walking the positive path is owning the emotion that comes up when a long-anticipated day at the beach needs to be postponed. But there is are so many positive things that make summer rain something to celebrate and even look forward to:
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
1. Rain Cools Us
Even if a summer shower is a passing thing, even if it doesn't do much to conquer the humidity that preceded it, those flecks of water feel cool on the ground, on your face, on the whole world. Have you ever seen summer rain that causes steam to rise from a parking lot’s asphalt? Imagine your spirit cooling off like that. What steam might you release?
2. Rain Relaxes Us
Bringing down our body temperatures is known to trigger calmer emotions. But then there are the other relaxing aspects of a rainy day. For one thing, the rhythmic tap of raindrops on a roof or window are so calming, many white noise machines and apps feature it as a soothing sound option.
3. Rain Refreshes Nature
It should go without saying that rain is good for plants. If you are a gardener, though, you know the difference a huge summer rain can make to wilting flower or vegetable plants. I had some hanging flower baskets on my front porch that I thought had breathed their last. A big soak later, and they popped back to life in a way that was so sudden, it felt almost miraculous.
4. Rain Releases Pressure
How’s this for a metaphor for life? The speed with which atoms and molecules move in the air determines the barometric pressure, which rises and falls as conditions change. Low pressure hearkens rainy or turbulent weather, while high pressure brings mild sunshine. So in order for stability and peace to return to the summer sky, the sluggish moisture that’s pressing down on us has to release its showery contents. The atmosphere can breathe more easily…and so can we.