I find a pair of rain boots, and I dig out a fall raincoat. We’re walking to school in the pouring rain today.
Everyone’s excited about the puddles. Suddenly, I recall those deep memories of childhood: stomping in puddles, twirling your umbrella, tasting the rain.
So here I am, bringing up the rear of a group of school children, and I’m stomping in the puddles with all my might.
“That felt exactly like I thought it would,” I say to one father as water and mud splash up around my boots. “It’s just how I remembered it.”
What else will my children do today that I might do right along with them?
Living with flair means you do what they do sometimes.
Journal: Can you recall some rainy day memories?
It stops raining, and so we go outside just to take a look at things. The peony might just bloom this weekend.
And maybe the yellow iris.
|Yellow Iris Almost Here
The weeping cherry won’t bloom for us again this year, but if we part the leaves like a great green curtain, we can enter a secret chamber. The limbs embrace us, hanging low to the ground. I’m a grown woman, and yet I can’t resist burrowing deep within the tree. From the street, you’d just see a tree with blue garden shoes sticking out from below.
|Within the Weeping Cherry
Living with flair means going outside to just take a look and finding yourself inside a tree.
Journal: Do you have tree memories?
I look up into the clouds. Rain falls because the water vapor becomes too heavy. It leaks out.
Yesterday, a friend remarks that when we are filled with God, He leaks out. He overflows.
It’s as natural as rain falling.
You need upward motion (cooling the water vapor, making it heavier) and moisture (from various sources) to get that cloud so saturated that it leaks out rain.
I want to be soaked with God today. Moving upward, adding in moisture, I want to leak out radical love. There’s nothing I have to do but fill up. And the result can nourish whatever earth it falls upon.
Living with flair means I soak up and leak out.
Journal: What’s a favorite way to soak up God?
Flair opened early this morning on the dreary mile walk to school. It was drizzling (drizzle is the worst: it’s indecisive and taunting with its half rain / half fog constitution) and remarkably chilly for March.
I have a huge bright blue and white umbrella. I like to spin it and do a little Gene Kelly dance as soon as I open it. And then, I’m driven by pure instinct to invite anyone near me in, to stand close, cuddle up, and stay warm. With my arm around a child or my head pressed to a friend’s cheek, I feel like it is a sacred space. It feels like flair.
And it’s no wonder I feel this way. Nearly every culture recognizes the important role of umbrellas and the treasures they protect. The umbrella’s rich history reflects how communities use umbrellas to shield their most holy objects, to announce sacred ceremonies, and to signal the presence of royalty. In Egypt, the figures of gods are covered by umbrellas, in the Roman Catholic liturgy, the umbrella covers the Most Holy Sacrament, and in the ancient Chinese book of ceremonies, the umbrella always covered imperial carriages.
What sacred treasures, what dignitaries were underneath my umbrella? Was that child, picking a nose and stooping to fix a sock that had inched its way down her foot, a treasure? (OK, that was my daughter)
I imagine that the umbrella doesn’t discriminate. I imagine the honor the umbrella feels to partake in the ceremony of walking to school.
What if I acted more like an umbrella? Living with flair means I open my arms wide to point out and protect what is sacred and of supreme worth in everybody around me.
This morning it felt like I walked to school with royalty. And I did.
Living with flair means I am an umbrella today.