Wednesday, August 13, 2014

78. Being at the Mercy of Nature

Right now I am sitting parked in my car (The Outback's name is now "The Rattle Box") in Portland Maine, because I drove up here for trivia, as I do every Wednesday. Now it is 9:50, and I literally cannot leave town because it is raining so hard that it has flooded the town. Every street I could take to get out of town has bottomed-out flooded cars stuck in the intersections. There's probably a way out, if I looked hard enough, but then I'd have a 30 mile drive on the highway through this to get home, so, y'know, this parking lot seems nice.

Dashboard Velociraptor in a downpour.

I like rain. I like thunderstorms. I think I like them even more now that I actually know how to appreciate just how frickin' miraculous it is to enjoy rain from within a solid structure. 

When you're in the woods you have to learn to be at the mercy of mother nature because there's nothing you can do about it. Sometimes when we don't have control over significant portions of our lives, we can start to feel frazzled and overwhelmed, which can lead to us being sourpusses. When all you do is hike and spend time outside, the weather truly plays a big role in your day. At some point you have to make one of several choices. A few reactive options are: 
1. Freak out and try to outrun the weather
2. Try to change it by the sheer force of your misery. 
In my experience thus far, neither of these strategies have been effective. But I'm also not a super human who controls the weather.

Not yet anyway. Maybe if my car gets struck by lightning right now (like the building 300 feet away from me that just got stuck by lightning when I was looking RIGHT AT IT), I will be imbued with powers, and then all of you get to be part of my superhero origin story. 

Instead of trying to control situations with hyper misery, I made choice #3 when I was hiking. I let it in. I would let in the rain, accept my soaking wet state of being, accept the suckiness of it, but accept that at the moment, changing my physical state of being simply wasn't possible. But I did have an ability to make a choice about my state of mind.

A rat in a maze could bemoan his rat life, shake his tiny paws at the sky and squeak curses to the heavens. Or he could just find himself some mother-truckin' cheese. 

And now as I sit here in this car, waiting for the rain to let up and wanting to be at home with my cats in my tiny house, I find that I'm not bothered at all about once again finding myself at the mercy of the weather. In fact, my state of mind is so permanently accepting of the rain that my first emotional reaction to the insane downpour was only to be disappointed that I didn't have an inflatable tube in my car that I could use to raft down the river-streets.

Clever Girl


  1. Try to change it by the sheer force of your misery......I believe I will embroider this on a pillow. A simple reminder. Thanks!

  2. When one of the characters in the marvelous book Lonesome Dove dies, his friends write on his tombstone "cheerful in all weathers." Would that we could all earn such a epitaph...a long, long time from now!