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

Lisa Riley Rain

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

author image

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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