Sunday, August 8, 2010

Good Medicine

I’m writing this from our back patio right now, while I’m considering going inside to get a sweater or a blanket. And it’s August. In Las Vegas. And it’s all because of the storm that blew in this weekend.

I first heard it during the night, when the rain on our patio roof woke me up. It was perfect – just loud enough to let me know it was there, but not so bad to keep me awake. I fell back to sleep, cozy in bed.

Today I woke to the smell of the rain and cooler morning temps, although the sky above our house was bright and sunny again. That’s how Vegas is – storms often pass through but only show themselves to sections of the city instead of the valley as a whole.

Today I was feeling a little down; my week had been stressful, and my husband was working on what is usually our day off together. So when I heard a few drops outside again I immediately turned off the TV (I was about to sink into an afternoon of mind-numbing Hallmark Channel movies), and went outside with George. The wind was picking up a little, and one whole section of the sky was dark grey while the other part was blue with white fluffy clouds. The few raindrops on the roof sounded like popcorn.

George jumped onto the back of the outdoor sofa where I sat, and I leaned my head against him. My heart wasn’t feeling great. Recent stress was causing the symptoms of my MVP (an annoying heart condition) to flare up a little, and my heart felt tight. In fact, it felt worse than normal. I sat and tried to make my stress go away by taking deep breaths like in meditation. Focus on the breath, ten counts in and twenty counts back out. It didn’t seem to loosen the anxiety in my chest but I did it a few more times anyway.

Then I realized I shouldn’t be sitting under the patio; I should be out in the rain – should get out in nature and let it fall down on me. So I walked around the yard a little bit, raised my face to the sky in time to get a raindrop right in my eye, and I wondered why raindrops aren’t dangerous, since they fall from so far. I liked feeling the rain touch me.

Soon the rain came down more quickly, the drops big and fat. I headed for the sofa again and pulled George onto my lap to get warm during the sudden chilly wind. He and I sat and watched the downpour – it was indeed a downpour – the type of rain that brings people to windows to look outside, the kind that sounded like tympani were being played on our patio roof.

After about ten minutes or so of watching the rain fall in a diagonal toward where we sat, it gradually calmed down again, and slowly the sounds of our neighborhood resumed. A few birds flew by, chirping. A car drove by on a nearby street, its tires sounding wet on the pavement. The rain had stopped everything, had forced all to stop, to sit and observe.

And I realized my heart wasn’t tight anymore. The rain had taken away the tension. See, now, why I love the rain?

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