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Kat Marriner : December 28th, 2011

The Rain is Life!

Cuddled on the couch sipping tea at a friend’s house this fall, we were lamenting the beginning of the rainy season in the northwest. A knock on the door brought us homemade tamales from their favorite roving street vendor. She walks the neighborhoods and brings piping hot delicious corny goodness right to your couch. Hearing our lament of the weather that day, I heard her sweet voice say with all the compassion in the world, “The rain is life.” This from a woman walking door-to-door to make ends meet. Now there was some perspective.

When we got home I put that statement on my computer screensaver knowing that come the dark days of winter, I would need some reminder. Well, the dark days just hit. We enjoyed a glorious December with more blue sky than I can ever remember, but I had been glued to my computer and failed to take advantage of many of those blue sky days. Now in this quiet week between the holidays, the blanket of gray threatens to slow my body and spirit down.

But there is that phrase on my screen. I’m seeing it again after months of not noticing, but its message to me is now unmistakable. Seize and celebrate the rejuvenation from the rain.

My body is aching to move, to be warm, to be light, so I put on my down jacket followed by my rain shell and head outside. Within a  short distance I am on a trail and at peace. My pace is easy, inside my layers it feels like a comfortable day in the tropics. Energy surges as I walk up the hill. I am so grateful to be outside I’m beaming. Raindrops sparkle like jewels and I feel as nourished as the brilliant green moss.

I know the blanket of gray and drizzle of rain will last longer than my good mood. But if I can keep an ounce of that healthy perspective — if I can recognize the rain as a gift rather than a curse — if I can get my ass off the couch and laugh at the elements — I’ll make it through another northwest winter.

8 comments to The Rain is Life!

  • Gabe

    Nice post and I agree about getting out into the elements. But what really caught my attention was the tamale lady. Was this in Seattle? How in the world did your friend get hooked up with her?

  • Kat Marriner

    Thanks Gabe. I just read “Born to Run” and all I can think about is eating some hearty toasted corn grits. The tamale seller roams Portland neighborhoods, so if you happen to be there, keep your eye out for her. 4 for $5 and worth every penny.

  • Michele

    Hi Kat — Glad to see you have a chance to post again, and thanks for this lovely reminder and perspective! Rain. Tamales. Good.

  • Michael R

    Who is that tamale vendor? Does she operate in SE Portland? What a great mentor!

  • Kat Marriner

    She does make the rounds in SE Portland!

  • Noni Weir

    Kat – Beautifully written and so true. We need to be nourished by rain here and it hides from us. I will think of you and rejoice when it finally does come. Thank you, Noni

  • Chris Friedly

    Kat and Willie,

    I don’t know how to thank you two enough for the writing you do. I recently found my bike, then found books about bikes, then found Willie via Spokesongs which led me to a plethora of other wonderful biking sites including this one, and now I’m engrossed in your blogs.

    I too am a northwesterner and I remember distinctly the cold and gray in the midst of the holidays. I always love positive perspective and you have provided that here.

    I have found something very special in my bike, and I’m truly enjoying reading about your experiences. Thanks to you, I’ve been even more inspired to take to the road on two wheels (after fighting my way back to live an active life again from being over 400 pounds).

    I will continue to read and be wildly entertained. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Kat Marriner

    Chris, thank YOU so much for sending us such kind words! That something we share in books or blogs touches a life, provides encouragement, gives perspective, or in any way helps another soul, is very satisfying to know. I especially appreciate hearing from people since sharing my story doesn’t come so naturally.

    Congratulations to you on finding your bicycle and reclaiming an active life! Think of the encouragement your actions must have on the people around you who witness the change. No doubt, some other lives are touched by your example too.

    Enjoy the ride and new found freedom,

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