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Belly to the Rain

Buster at nap time, before the rain.

I make New Year’s resolutions every year, and I make of a lot of them so that I can at least check some of the boxes on my list. I love checking boxes. I love accomplishments. Some of them are on my list every year, like lose weight, (although this goal keeps changing, from 5 pounds to 10 pounds, to 15 pounds, etc.) Losing weight, like my other resolutions, is measurable: write at least one page/300 words a day, exercise at least 20 minutes 5 days a week, take a vacation to Oregon. But this year I’m making only one resolution, different from all my previous ones.

This year I’m going to be more like Buster, my four-month-old Husky puppy.

It’s been raining for days. I love to huddle in the house with a good book on a stormy day, but I have rules for the situations in which I enjoy the rain, like watching it splash the leaves from inside my nice dry house. Also, it shouldn’t last more than a day. I start getting restless the second day and my restlessness increases exponentially with each day.

This morning, after a week of rain, I ventured outside. I wore a raincoat, so my clothes didn’t get wet, my duck boots so that my feet didn’t get wet and tucked my chin down into my collar to keep my face from getting wet, then I rushed the marathon 20 feet from the house to the car. My rules for rain have been - so long as it doesn’t touch me and I stay dry inside my boxes (house, car, store), I enjoy it. My adult mind declares that, depending on the circumstances, rain can be a blessing, an inconvenience, or a catastrophe. As I left my house that morning, I was blind to its blessing.

Until I saw Buster laying on his back out on the driveway, front paws curled, a smile on his face, letting the raindrops splash his belly. I remembered back to a time when I was 10 and we lived in the Mojave Desert, where it seldom rains. We got a real gully washer, and I went out with my brother and sister, and we stood in the gutters and let the water rush over our feet. But that wasn’t enough. We needed more immersion into this rare phenomenon, so we laid in the gutter and let the water rush over us, pull and tug our arms and legs, listening to it patter, gurgle, and splash. What bliss. What joy.

Buster was open to what the world was showering down on him, and I envied him that. I held out my hand and felt raindrops wet my palm, lifted my face and stuck out my tongue for a taste of pure water.

And so my New Year’s resolution is to be more like Buster, Belly to the Rain.


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