When Caught in a Torrential Downpour (Literally!)… Give Thanks

For the first time in my life, at the age of 46, I got caught in a torrential downpour one evening last Fall. I got off of work and drove through that sluggish LA traffic to make it to one of my favorite walking trails.

Now, as I was driving home there were times when it was pouring, but the radio reported it was unexpected and only in certain areas. So by the time I got to Cerritos and parked my car at the park, there were some clouds but they didn’t look like “rain clouds.” So I opted to leave my umbrella in the trunk and proceeded on my walk.

It was a beautiful Fall evening. It was somewhere in between warm and cool, but it could have been cooler.

I took in the beautiful skyscape with the dark and light-colored clouds up above, and all around them were blue skies and a fiery-red sunset occurring. Just another beautiful Southern California sunset.

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I entered the trail at Cerritos Park and headed forward. I let the peace and calm of nature wash away the trivialities of the day and of life. Nature has a way of doing that… of putting things in perspective.

So I ventured down the familiar path, and came upon an overcrossing, that would pass by a dog park. As I crossed under and ascended the path the dog park came into view and the fantastic skyscape was turning more crimson and dark. I marveled at the beautiful combination of colors and heard the dogs barking in the background. I looked at the beautiful tall trees with their colorful leaves and nature reminded me how beautiful life really is.

As I neared a turning point on the trail, I noticed the clouds were becoming darker and the crimson was really becoming more of a rim to the darkening clouds. I still gave it no thought and continued walking.

Then as I rounded the slight bend, I noticed a portion of the trail up ahead looked white, and then I thought, oh, okay, it must of just rained in that one area. Suddenly, I felt a light drop on my left cheek. As I got closer to the wet part of the path, still up ahead, the sound of rain became louder but I could not see it. I began to look all around to try and figure out where the rain was.

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And then the drops became more prevalent and I realized, I was walking right under the “rain cloud.” As I walked on, I felt I literally walked right under it and I thought I could walk through it quickly. It wasn’t too bad and I would just get a little wet. My only other option was to turn around…

Well, the rain began to fall harder and then suddenly, I was in a downpour. I was stunned and shocked and thought, okay, I will be out of this in just a minute, as soon as I pass this wet part of the trail. And then I thought, how strange that it is just raining on this one spot of land. This one part of Earth. As the rain fell more, I began to walk faster and I started to feel really wet. I thought okay, I will just get out from under this.

And then the rain fell harder and it felt like buckets of water were literally being poured on me. It wasn’t a pelting rain. It was a torrential downpour.

As I walked faster the rain came down harder and then it was bucket loads. I felt soaked and was cradling my cell phone inside my (light) jacket pocket.

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I kept walking, trying to get out from under the rain cloud, but the downpour wouldn’t stop. I felt the clouds were following me and realized, it was not letting up. I was trying desperately to get away from it, but I couldn’t.

I then thought, I always fantasized about dancing in the rain, in a sexy dress on a street in Paris, with the man of my dreams. This definitely wasn’t Paris and there was no man in sight.

In spite of being drenched, I couldn’t help but look up at the heavens and let the rain fall on my face. I felt so alive…and the rain felt wonderful. I mean, at the point, why not? It wasn’t going anywhere, and I was caught in it so I tried to enjoy it.

As I continued walking back to my car, I saw so many other runners, cyclist, walkers, some with their dogs, and everyone was proceeding forward….caught in the downpour. Perhaps that’s how life is sometimes…no matter the downpour…keep moving forward.

I knew I had about 10 minutes more of walking before I reached my car, and didn’t know how much more soaked I could be. I would soon learn.

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I have always loved the rain, especially the sound of it. There is something about water falling onto the Earth… It’s like a cleansing. And the smell of the wet earth. Everything is anew.

So I thought, okay God, I have prayed and prayed, I don’t know how many times and asked for you to deliver rain in this drought we are having. And in that moment I realized, you were delivering it. And in that moment I realized, I was receiving what I asked for…and then I laughed. I said okay God…I get it. Isn’t that exactly how life is?

So I smiled the rest of the way to my car and continued to look up at the beautiful sky until the clouds shifted. By the time I made it inside my car, the rain was unrelenting and I was completely and utterly drenched.

But how we needed it… I thought, “Thank you, God.” Thank you for giving me what I asked for…and yes, the laugh is on me… I asked and you delivered. Sure, I was drenched and soaked, but you delivered. No, I didn’t receive it in the comfort of my warm car or home, or when I wanted it, or when it was most convenient, but I’m smiling inside because I received it.

{Image credit: Pete Nowicki, Unsplash}


About the Author

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My family moved to California when I was nine years old, and I have remained in this beautiful State ever since. I spent 31 years living in Northern California, primarily the San Francisco Bay Area, and have spent the past six years living in Southern California.I have spent the past 16 years working in civil service and continue to pursue my passions of writing, helping people, and making a difference in the world. I work in downtown Los Angeles and live in Long Beach.I have been walking on trails since the age of 14 and every walk is a new journey. And I always make sure to keep an umbrella in my car.

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