You know that feeling when you start a particularly messy and inescapably dirty job like gardening. Dressed in your gardening clothes with your gloves on you initially try not to get too grubby. Slowly but surely you right get into it, the gloves come off and you end up with a mess of dirt under your fingernails, miscellaneous leaves in your hair and when a sticky, invisible spider web latches on to your face you reach the point where you can no longer try to stay clean…you embrace the filth, not by choice but something changes, you fall over the precipice separating the neat and tidy person that showered and dressed in the morning from your simplistic, organic other self that loves to just get right into it.
This same feeling is one I wanted to have in the rain, not the filth, but the feeling of embracing the wet. I had no grand delusions that it would be a Hollywood style moment like singing in the rain (OK maybe the puddle splashing just a bit, but what adult hasn’t had the urge to cast aside their mature and sensible nature and stomp fully clothed in a puddle???)
I just wanted to enjoy being in the rain rather than worrying about my hair or do I have an umbrella.
While camping at the coast we had the usual stinking hot summer days of 35+ degrees. It was towards the end of the week that some unseasonable storms approached. As I went to adjust the tent for the approaching deluge the skies opened, getting the job done without getting too wet was becoming increasingly unlikely.
Puddles formed at my feet as i hammered in the extra pegs. Suddenly I overbalanced, plopping like an unsteady toddler Butt first into the wet grass. That was it, I was soaked. I now had 2 options; go for a shower, put on my raincoat and settle in to the tent for the night, or go for a walk.
I initially thought, this is it, my chance to embrace the wet and mark another thing off my bucket list, I got my sister to take some pictures of me doing my best impression of a drowned rat and I wandered off down the path with my drenched hat trying to shield my eyes from the rain.
As I walked down the path to my aunt’s cabin the rain lightened. After a quick chat on her balcony the rain resumed and I was off again into the warm,wet air. The campgrounds backed on to an estuary and even though it was raining it was still a lovely, warm afternoon. I decided it was time for a swim. I waded out fully clothed and sat to contemplate the serenity of being out in an area that was usually bustling with boats, fishermen and children.
It was then that I saw my mum at the edge of the water calling me to pose for a picture ‘for my blog’ and I realized that my pursuit for embracing the wet should not be for the fulfillment of a blog story or ticking it off my list. I felt myself withdraw from the want to embrace the wet and actually embraced it. I lay back in the water, looked up at the sky and retreated into my thoughts.
“Dinner’s ready” came the call from the shore and I was back to reality. After a shower and some food I still felt quite reflective and happy that I had been able to move past embracing the wet as a task towards embracing the wet as an experience.
Later that night the storms that had created havoc in the north of the country, that lifted houses from their footings was bringing more rain to our humble campsite. The tent was getting tested to its limits and it needed extra pegging to stop the water getting in. There was so much water under the tent that it was like walking on a water bed. I stepped outside in my pj’s and was shocked to find myself in water up past my ankles!
I was soaked through to the bone in a matter of seconds as I tried to hammer in the pegs, losing sight of them as the hammer splashed feebly in the growing dam of water surrounding the tent. Holding the light in my teeth I couldn’t help but smile at the irony as I shivered uncontrollably and embraced the wet for a second time in one day. This time with no expectations.