The routine is the same each winter morning.
I make sure my compact umbrella is inside my briefcase. I slip my black leather gloves over my cold fingers, but not before I pull on my jacket. Once zipped the gloves go on.
I used to wear a wool Northface hat. But Kim made me one that’s much softer and better looking. That’s my last line of defense against the chilly Seattle mornings.
Just the thought of standing on the platform waiting for the train sends a chill down my spine. Gusts of wind following every freight train. The sight of of my breath as I rub my hands together. The type of cold that makes each breath seem like a chore. My feet were always the first to go numb.
But tonight it warmed up to 55 degrees and began to rain. I stood off our deck and listened to the rain hit the wooden slats. I considered grabbing my jacket. Or an umbrella. Anything to act as a barrier between me and the elements. Instead, I stood there.
When is the last time you’ve stood outside in a rainstorm?
Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red
Cryin’s not for me
‘Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’
Because I’m free
Nothin’s worryin’ me
That’s one of the first songs I heard on the radio. Even as a kid, I knew all the lyrics and would sing along as it blared from the AC Delco radio in my dad’s Dodge Duster.
My shirt was now soaked. Rain dripped off my hair and onto my face and down my nose. As a kid did you ever look up at the sky and try to catch drops in your mouth until one hit you square in the eye? I stood there until I was soaked. My dog had long found dry ground inside. I felt as though I’d taken a cold shower in my clothes and considered what excuse I’d tell my kids when they asked why I was all wet.
I don’t know why I did this. Maybe to feel like a kid again having turned 43 last week. But I can tell you that it made me feel alive. Too often I instruct my kids to put on a jacket or grab an umbrella before going outside. Don’t step in the puddle because your shoes might get wet. Get all bundled up so you can play outside as if you were inside.
Next storm I’m going to grab my kids and run with them until we are soaked to the bone. If clothes have to be hung in the garage before we can come back in the house, I’ll know I’ve succeeded.