"As long as the Great Circle remains unbroken, there are those who know that there will be a home for the children of Fear, and a place for the Rainmakers to play."
- from The Rainmakers, a Native American story
I'm sure we've all seen children playing ecstatically in the rain. They put on their little red rain boots, a bright, slick yellow coat, and run squealing up and down the driveway as they jump gleefully in water puddles. Soon it becomes a competition to see who can make the biggest splash, or find the biggest puddle, or make the biggest mess. When I was younger, this was always a contest between me and my cousins.
Maybe you too were one of those children, once upon a time.
There's something freeing about the rain. The rain washes away everything, bringing with it a new beginning. As we grow older, we lose that simplicity of playing in the rain. The simplicity is replaced by the dread that we're going to get wet, or it's going to mess up "our good hair day", or that we'll be caught in a torrential downpour with no umbrella. Been there, done that, right?
When I was in college, I took a course that discussed diversity within the Midwest classroom. As part of the course, we read Native American literature. This literature covered cultures from Ojibwe, to Navajo, to Lakota, to Sioux, to Hopi and beyond. I recall reading a Native American story called The Rainmakers. The Rainmakers is an origin story - that is, it tells the story of how rain originated. I won't go in-depth here (I know you'll want to read it yourself, so try looking here). Origin stories have great meaning in Native American cultures. Living in a state with so much Native history, you can't help but appreciate beauty of such stories.
So why do I bring this story up, you ask? In many ways, it goes back to seeing children play in the rain. In The Rainmakers, the children cause Fear to dance, and while Fear dances, tears pour out of its eyes, causing it to make the land flourish and grow. Every time I see children playing in the rain, I think of The Rainmakers and am reminded of the simplicity of the world we live in, even when some days it seems so complicated and complex.
It's raining here today, but rather than worry about getting wet, maybe I'll take the time to play in the rain. Wherever you are, I hope you take some time to jump in the rain puddles too. Be like the children in The Rainmakers - starting a new beginning.