Boy, did it rain.
Here’s the thing. Just like I love sad things, I love the rain. Always have. Maybe because it reminds me of winter, the time of year I was born. The time where you stay inside, pull on tracksuit pants and cook something warm. I don’t exactly know why, but I love it.
Anyway. I went on the road a few weekends ago with a close friend of mine to watch the Melbourne Victory play in Gosford. From the time we stepped off the train platform it rained incessantly. We walked between the station and our accommodation and the accommodation and the city. In my commitment to light travelling I didn’t even bring a jumper, let alone a coat.
We spent the few hours leading up to the game wandering around a deserted, drenched town. We made our way to a musty TAB that adjusted prices of beer based on the hourly spin of a wheel. It was all a bit naff, really, but we loved it. We bantered with the locals and texted others on the way to the game. We put a few bets on and won ourselves a few rounds of beer for our troubles.
We moved pubs when the specials dried up and we found a few other supporters. We drank and ate and told stories and took the piss out of one another. Nothing groundbreaking went on, but it was a good time.
When game time came, the keenest amongst us stood out in the rain. We sang, we watched, we cursed, and we celebrated. We got destroyed on the pitch, six goals to two. We got drenched in the stands as well. But we did what we knew. We stood out there in the rain supporting the team even when doing so was utterly preposterous, ludicrous even. We stood with our friends, whether we knew their names or not. It would have been more ridiculous to seek cover after travelling so far, I figured.
We could not get a cab on the way back to our accommodation, so as the rain got heavier, we trekked back. Intersections were flooded and the puddles grew so large that we couldn’t really tell how deep they were. By the time we got up the stairs and got the magnetic key in the door, we must’ve looked like mad men.
Here’s the thing about rain though. I’ve come to realise that as something approaching an adult, I don’t get rained on much anymore. We go from our cars to our houses to our workplaces to our cars. We go from pubs to taxis and from taxis to porches. How often do we get caught exposed? I feel like it’s pretty rare.
I don’t own a raincoat or an umbrella. What’s the likelihood of leaving the house and getting rain heavy enough to justify carrying an umbrella? And what’s the worst outcome possible if it does? A damp shirt? Having to dry your hair at work?
When I came back to work on the Monday, I had story to tell about a trip to Gosford that ended in a massive defeat and being soaked from head to toe. To most people, this sounded like something to be disappointed about. I didn’t even begin to consider it that way. To me it was just another story, an adventure with a great friend to a place I’d never been. What more could I had asked for?
If you can take a look at situations in their broader context and try your best to understand them as part of the greater story of your life, you might find that you need the umbrella a lot less. The rain is irrelevant. You might not even notice it in the first place.
I’m doing my best to take a step back and stop hedging against the unlikely and the insignificant. Forgive me for labouring the rain metaphor here, but I think there’s something in all this.