Thursday, March 8, 2012

Loving rainy days and little wet dogs... :)

     I love rainy days!  It hasn't always been like this for me and I admit that if there are too many rainy days in a row, I might get a little tired of them. But on the whole, I prefer steady rain pouring down as opposed  to bright, sunny days.
    Part of that goes back (no, not to Twilight... ) but to my early twenties when I worked in the library at Hendrix College.  One grey, rainy day, I was walking across the campus with the librarian I worked for and I commented on how I hated gloomy, wet days.  She looked surprised and pointed out in a cheerful way that the color of the trees showed up so much better against a grey sky.  As I looked at the foliage around me, I realized that she had a point.

    Later, as a mom with supposedly just one kid I would get tired of the noise and the clutter in our home.   (Young kids are like potato chips, I soon realized; you never have just one because they attract other kids like magnets and each additional kid increases the noise factor exponentially...) When everything got to me, I would go walking and it seemed to me that rainy day walks brought more peace to me than sunny ones. Maybe because no one else was out walking in the rain. More likely because the curtain of rain around me was like an enclosure  of peace and solitude.  Eventually it reached the place where if I was unable to go out and walk in a light rain, I would feel put upon, like I had missed something special.
    Today I went out just to get the mail. Rain was pelting down around me but I had an umbrella; there was no lightening to frighten me and no mail to encumber me - the mail box was empty.  So I just headed down the street, reveling in my surroundings.  When I reached the end of the street, I turned around and soon found myself stopping near a vacant, wooded lot because I could actually hear the whoosh of the rain as it swept through the branches high above me.
    After a minute or so, I headed home and this time, the wind was suddenly so strong that I could see it sweeping gusts of rain towards me and I had to struggle to hang onto my umbrella.  My first thought was, "This is not such a good idea after all!"  But then, why I don't know - I felt invigorated and found myself laughing, loving even the fact that my slacks were getting soaked!
   I had left our little Pomeranian/Terrier mix in the yard because, after all, I had only planned to get the mail and go right back in the house.  Occasionally Buddie escapes the confines of our fence so as I walked away from the house, I looked back periodically to make sure he wasn't running after me until I was sure he hadn't been able to escape this time.
  As I returned to our house, I could hear the little fellow barking frantically and picked up my pace, worried that he had somehow gotten trapped trying to squeeze through the gate.  When I got near our yard, I could see him, standing in our "flower bed" where he had a clear view of both streets that intersect at our property.  He was yapping vigorously while peering nearsightedly into the rain - with each bark, his little body seemed to bounce off the ground.
   I had assumed (incorrectly) that when the rain started beating down, he would take shelter under our front porch.  Instead, however, he just stood guard like a little furry sentinel in the corner of our yard,watching for me to return and probably wishing with all his little heart that I would have enough sense to come in out of the rain:)
   As soon as he heard my voice, he quit barking and ran to the gate to meet me. Then, before I could get halfway up the sidewalk, he was already on the porch, shaking his soggy fur coat and looking at me like, "Don't you get it????  We need to be inside, as in inside the house!" His look plus the hyper dance he was doing in front of the door clearly spoke volumes:  as far as he was concerned, I had lost my ever-loving mind:)
   I let him in where he proceeded to run around looking more like  a soggy rat than a rat terrier blend, trying desperately to dry off.  He was miserable yet he could have been dry and safe on our front porch at any time, had he chosen to be. It wasn't that he didn't know where the front porch was, it was that he knew I was out there somewhere in the neighborhood and where I was, he wanted to be also.  Even if that meant getting soaked for no apparent reason.

   The J. B. Phillips Translation of Luke 9:23 goes like this:
   "If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day, and keep close behind me."

   Today I looked at Buddie with a mixture of exasperation and humor, thinking, "Silly dog!  Why didn't you just stay on the porch and wait for me instead of standing out in the pouring rain, watching for me and  getting soaked???"
   Then I thought about this verse and realized that maybe Buddie has  a better grasp of theology than I do...

   Loving rainy days combined with  theology lessons from little dogs who don't have enough sense to come in out of the pouring rain and who never give up trying to follow their master and/or looking for their master's return.

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