In the Midwest where I come from, the entertainment and hospitality industries have the corner on inclement weather. Rain? Snow? It’s all good. Think Mall of America. Giant indoor water parks. And cozy downtown walkways habitrailing from building to building, restaurant to restaurant, shop to shop.
Here in South Florida, when it rains, it usually pours itself out quickly—and then it’s all sun and outdoor play again. When a tropical storm floods our yards and streets, however, we pretty much stay put. Like now. It’s Day 2 of Alberto… and Saturday. And I’d been looking forward to digging in my landscape. It doesn’t help that my husband gleefully ran to the corner bait shop for shrimp. Apparently fish love rain.
I seldom acknowledge sovereign slow-downs. Or do alone time. Or am quiet. I confess, my first inclination was to work my indoor to-do list. But I held back and scrolled through my Facebook feed until I was into yesterday. Then, fearing I might get into a cleaning frenzy if I addressed the dishes in my sink, I sat down on the porch and watched the squirrels slide angrily down the wet pole of my bird feeder. And I laughed with the cardinals who were happy to have it to themselves for a change. Then I read through an old folder of poems I wrote in high school and thought about who I now am. I called my sister-in-law who I never get a chance to talk to. And I wrote.
For over four hours I whittled away my time with a whole lot of nothingness. And I have to admit, I felt oddly refreshed. Could I do this a little more regularly? I’d like to say yes. My temptation, though, is to add it to the bottom of my to-do list. And that just feels messed up. So, for now, I’m holding this idea of ‘not planning a thing’ loosely in my hand and surrendering it to God to see what He might inspire.
And I’m praying for more rain.
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31