Here in the islands of Lake Champlain, perfectly situated between the Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondacks to the west, the weather changes on a dime. In the three days we’ve been here the temperature has gone back and forth from 55 to 95, the wind has been still or constant and, as we learned yesterday, the clouds in the distance can reach us like…lightning!
After a short ferry ride, we biked across a thin causeway with blue water and mountains on both sides. This was the beginning of a 10 mile trip south to Burlington, Vermont. All was well, though the ferryman did say, “rain is in the forecast.” We paid him no mind. It was gorgeous outside!
In the town of Colchester, a light rain began to fall, so we parked beneath a fruit tree in the park. We waited about ten minutes and then decided to sally forth. “What’s a little light rain? And maybe we will bike our way out of it!”
And we did. Then we didn’t.
One of the distinct features of this area is that you can see the rain in the distance. And if it is THERE it may soon be HERE.
Have you ever pedaled through a rainstorm for 7 miles? We have. Within seconds, we were completely soaked – water, water everywhere. And y’know what? We didn’t care!
The essence of accepting is letting go to what is and relaxing into it. In our case this meant “whooping it up” with verbal shouts of joy and abandonment, soon echoed by the faces and smiles of bikers coming the opposite way.
On the side of the path, some sought cover under trees or a footpath, but we had passed the point of escape. We were in it. And it was as glorious as the sunny and clear day at the beginning of the ride.
In this place, I remembered 12 year old Scott on a soggy camping trip in the White Mountains and 40 year old Scott hiding in a tent during a week of storms in Montauk. Those earlier versions of me were scared of discomfort. In those moments and many others, I may have learned something about grit or endurance, but I had not learned acceptance, yet. That has only come with the Adventure.
Evidently, I came into this world afraid and it has taken me sixty years to admit it, accept the vulnerability and begin playing with some options that do not include distractions (alcohol, drugs, shopping, work, TV). It’s hard, but every now and then I can whoop it up in the rain like the 7 year old boy I wanted to be.
It’s never too late.
Oh, I hear laughter in the rain
Walking hand in hand with the one I love
Oh, how I love the rainy days
And the happy way I feel inside Neil Sedaka “Laughter in the Rain”