Tacoma, Washington is close to heaven on earth. I attended a summer conference here about 10 years ago, and immediately fell in love. It sits on the Puget Sound, with the Cascade Mountains gently circling the city. My favorite colors are blue and green, and every shade of these two hues fills the eye in Tacoma. Rolling hills, diverse architecture, and unique micro-breweries dot the landscape. I am quite fortunate to find myself back in Tacoma for another conference. It’s not the freshly warm days of summer, but instead the cool rainy days of winter. A winter storm is sweeping north of here, so the day has been filled with torrential showers. Wind sweeps the rainfall sideways, and hail even decided to make a brief appearance. Tacomans have been quick to tell us visitors that this is unusual. Yes, it rains often here, but usual gentle sprinklings that don’t interfere with one’s normal day.
The rain hasn’t bothered me. I rather like it. As a teen, one of my favorite songs was “Here Comes the Rain” again by The Eurythmics. Here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a memory, falling on my head like a new emotion. Rain was equated with deep emotion, the depths of one’s heart and soul. I didn’t quite understand all the meaning of the words so beautifully sung by Annie Lennox, but I knew it stirred me and spoke to something beyond my short-sighted 16 year old perspective.
The rain still speaks to me. The world’s religions have various water rituals which symbolize cleansing, new life, new beginnings, new community. “Remember your baptism and be thankful” are words I have stated on numerous occasions. Rain cleanses us, nourishes us, gives growth to the dryness of our lives. So many people desire sunshine each and every day. We want sunny dispositions, an easy and fun life, a wide sandy beach with a cooler of Coronas.
But we need balance. It wouldn’t be so lush and gorgeous in the Pacific Northwest without all the rain. The sunny days wouldn’t mean so much if they never ended. We’ve been taught that rain is something we must endure – into each life a little rain must fall. But why must rain be the bad guy? Rain instead exemplifies what is basic, necessary, and foundational in our lives.
So I say, bring on the rain.