I walked out of the tube station.
“Crap,” I thought to myself, “I’m going to get soaked.”
London rain has a mind of it’s own. It flirts with you. Winks at you with a drizzle and makes you believe that you can venture out safely into it. You fall for it’s subtle charm, trust it and just like the person you should have never fallen for, BAM! It knocks you down.
Running across Westminster Bridge, I pass a group of tourists desperately trying to buy bright yellow plastic ponchos from the gleeful looking chap who runs the green wooden tourist tat stall next to the hospital. People all around me are running around trying to escape the torrential downpour. I look at the smug faces of the ones who are whipping out their black pocket Totes which they keep in their bags 365 days a year.
In that moment, I realise that there’s no point resisting. I’m already drenched, brutally let down by my poor brolly substitute of a 5p Sainsbury’s bag. The sun is still out and a voice inside me whispers ‘Enjoy it.’
A childhood memory comes back to me.
I grew up on a gorgeous tropical island. One year, there was a particularly harsh drought complicated by a suffocating haze from trees being burnt down in a neighbouring state. It was the worst drought the country had endured for a long time. There had been no rain for weeks. Schools were closed due to a dangerously high pollution index. People went to work in masks. The hospitals were full of patients suffering from asthma attacks and breathing problems. The country felt constricted, suffocated.
Finally, after what felt like a lifetime, it rained.
You could feel the earth sigh with relief and the trees breathe again. A palpable joy pulsed through the land. I was in my bedroom looking out of the window, silently embracing the clear fluid treasure pouring out from the skies. A familiar figure walked past in the garden. It was my father. A man of few words but many big smiles.
He was walking on the grass, no shoes, no umbrella. The biggest craziest grin. He looked up at the sky relishing in the gift of life being poured down, soaking himself in the majesty and beauty of the moment. Transfixed, I stood watching him as he walked around the garden touching the leaves, wilted flowers and strong tree trunks. I have never told him I was watching him that day. It was his own private conversation between him and God.
Back to Westminster Bridge.
The rain had stopped and the sun was beginning to set. I looked across towards the Houses of Parliament and smiled. Had I not stopped to embrace the moment, I would have missed this awesome masterpiece.
We all have our weird umbrellas; barriers that we constantly carry around with us that stop us from fully experiencing the beauty of life. When did we get so busy that we stopped enjoying the simple pleasures of raindrops falling on our head?
Mental note to self. Lose the umbrella, get out there and soak up the rains of abundance!
Now, here’s to betraying my age. Ladies and gents, I give you…