When I was a little girl I used to love to plain in the rain, especially rain storms in the summer. Living in Fresno these types of rainstorms were rare but were nonetheless cherished by me. I loved the warmth of the air, the dark foreboding clouds, and the cool wind swirling up leaves and dirt like some kind of invisible wizard casting a spell. There was something about the world that just seemed magical to me. Perhaps it was the scent of the air just before the rain fell, or the way the world feels empty because everyone is inside, all underneath a dark foreboding sky blanketed across with ominous clouds. This world invoked my senses and my child’s imagination. During these times I relished being outside in the midst of the storm with the wind blowing through my hair. This is embarrassing to admit, but I would often dress up in my royal princess gowns and play outside as the rain poured down and I would pretend that I was some sort of fey creature of nature. As I got older I of coursed stopped dressing up to play in the rain, but I still loved the dark cloudy days and the warm summer rain storms. Throughout high school I traded my princess gowns for sneakers and would instead run in the rain every chance I got. The experience livened my soul and helped me reconnect with nature and my inner-self.
Today I had just such an experience, one that I have missed far too long – while pedaling my children home from school in the Nihola cargo tricycle. The predicted weather forecast was calling for rain, but when I left the house to pick up my son from school the afternoon was so sunny and bright I thought there would be no way that it would rain. It was so nice outside that I even let my boys play on the campus’ playground for a good amount of time, during which the sky grew darker and heavier. We would have stayed longer but it seemed that my boys were done so I loaded them into the cargo bike, buckled and helmeted them all and set off towards home. By this time the wind had really picked up and I knew that rain was imminent. About a mile from my home I was once again transformed into a magical world where the cool wind rushed around me and the air grew heaving with the impending rain. I took off my visor and let my hair out of my pony tail to feel the rush of air through my hair and all around me. For a brief time I was again that little girl relishing in the moment and that strange, otherworldly sort of feeling you get when the world feels empty and everything seems at quiet and at peace. My heart told to keep peddling, to stay outside and again feel the rain on my skin and to again feel alive and at one with nature. But my brain won over and told me to get the heck inside before it rains on my baby. I truly wished that I had the rain canopy on the Nihola at that moment because then I could have listened to my inner child while still keeping my children dry and protected. Maybe next time I will be more prepared.