Rain. Rain. And then rain again.
Well, hello, stranger.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one doing the happy dance recently when the drizzles turned to showers and the showers turned to storms. Even at the best of times, moisture gets a warm welcome throughout the Front Range. (With the noted exception of 2013, of course.) But when we’ve spent way too long as dry as a bone, a snowy winter and wet spring are just what the doctor ordered.
Mind you, I’m kind of weird about rain anyway. Some people sing about blue skies and cheer on bright summers. I’ll take the gray and the falling water any day. You could blame it on my English ancestors, I suppose. Or maybe my book addiction, where the whisper of page-turning merges perfectly with the patter of drops on the window and roof.
All true. But there’s also a memory of triumph. One going back to the 90s.
And I never would have discovered it if I hadn’t been the world’s most clueless camper.
When Heather and I were about to reach our first wedding anniversary, we wanted to do something special. We’d been living in Kansas for about a year and wanted to come back to Colorado – but we were also ready for something different.
Then the thought came to us.
“What about the Sand Dunes?”
If you haven’t been there, the Great Sand Dunes near Alamosa are breathtaking. Take an ordinary southern Colorado vista – and then drop a big dollop of Tatooine into it. The gigantic hills of sand draw the eye. They stagger the imagination. And they definitely beg to be climbed.
So we planned a camping trip. We bought a tent and got all the vital supplies: sleeping bags, a stove, a game of Boggle. We even practiced setting things up so we knew we could do it when we reached the site.
The one thing we didn’t do is consider the calendar.
You see, Heather and I got married in the last week of July. And if you’ve lived in Colorado for any length of time, you’re already shaking your head.
That’s right. Our wedding anniversary is in Colorado Monsoon Season. The stretch in late July where, in all but the driest summers, afternoon rainstorms are practically guaranteed. Steady as a clock. Sure as a disappointing Rockies season.
Just the thing to pitch a tent in, right?
Our week followed an increasingly predictable pattern. Get up early. Climb the sand dunes in the morning. Hurry back as close to noon as possible. Then huddle in the tent and listen to the water pour.
Amazingly, it worked.
In fact, it worked even better because of the rain.
Loose sand is a tiring thing to climb in. But with daily rain, it congealed and became a sturdier surface. For beginners like us, it gave us the footing we needed to reach the heights. A potential disappointment became a victory.
There are worse metaphors for a marriage. Or a life.
Some things you only discover in a storm. Sure, it’s not always a comfortable place to be. But if you make yourself take the next step, sometimes there are discoveries that can take you higher than you imagined.
So rain, rain, come and stay. Don’t be quick to go away.
The future may be cloudy. But we can still be the raining champions.