“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”

~Tony Hillerman

Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly caught in the rain?

Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly caught in the rain TWO days in a row?

There’s an old saying that goes: fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice…

Well, the weather just fooled me twice in the last 48 hours. However, I must confess that I don’t feel shame as much as I feel wet. Some days you just can’t anticipate what is going to happen. Some days you just look outside, make a judgement call, and take a chance.

That’s what I did. I mean, what were the odds that I would get caught in another thunderstorm?

I bet if I had actually bothered to check the weather report, I’d have found out that they were rather good.

But the fact is, I didn’t bother. When the lightning struck, it wasn’t the metaphoric kind. It was the real kind.

In what seemed like an instant, the world transformed from a warm, sunny day into a dark, damp night. Like a grumpy, tempestuous man, it growled and spat, hot and cold, up and down, belching bursts of light.

And I, who had so confidently informed my mother that I did not need to bring a rain jacket (or an umbrella for that matter) to Florida, found myself once again defenceless against its rage.

At the time, my decision to leave these items behind made a lot of sense. I had factored in the variables and the logic added up. The situation seemed under control.

Leave it to the weather to remind me that I have very little control over the events in my life.

I must confess that this thought brought me little comfort as I slid through deep puddles in my new flip-flops, with cars impatiently honking at me to hurry across the street.

They were unsympathetic to the drenched tourist who hadn’t bothered to check the weather report.

To make up for their lack of sympathy, I decided to extend some to myself. I was preparing to have a small pity party, when I passed two young men wearing makeshift garbage bag jackets. They had encountered an unexpected situation and what had they done? They had improvised.

Although I didn’t have a garbage bag, and I was too soaked by then for it to have made much difference, I figured I could do the same.

Because, when randomness strikes, and it inevitably will, you can fight it or you can embrace it. You can view the event as an angry storm, or you can view it as a spontaneous adventure.

I opted for the latter. I realized that, while I have very little control over what happens in my life, I do have control over how I respond to it.

So I took out the one piece of weather appropriate equipment I had–I took out a smile. I turned my face to the rain and I let myself enjoy the feeling of its warmth. I let myself realize how fun it was to have a real excuse to look like a mess–a wonderful, happy, contented mess. I let myself look forward to the laughter my appearance would bring to others, who could appreciate the humour in my situation. I let myself get excited about the feeling of putting on my pajamas and crawling into the freshly made bed back at the hotel.

Instead of letting my mind stand in the inconvenience of the situation, I let it stand somewhere else.

I don’t know if I saw the order in the rain, but I did see how the rain helped me order my thoughts and reevaluate my priorities.

And as I sit in this warm comfy bed and type these words, the only thing pouring through my mind is gratitude.

Sometimes we need a little bit of rain to give us the right perspective.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and, chances are, you’ll probably fool me again.

But you can bet that I’ll always pack a smile just in case.