This I Believe

Barbara - Grass Valley, California
Entered on February 10, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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Fresh Starts

I believe in fresh starts. It’s another rainy day, which is a very good thing here in Northern California. The dry spell has finally lost its grip. Rain has washed the more irritating pollens and pollutants out of the air. Its cleansing effect on the environment is obvious, but it seems to cleanse out some of the negativity, anxiety and irritation that build up in people too.

Sometimes rain brings down my mood, stimulating a brief natural depression, just enough to cultivate a few moments of self-reflection. Even if I have to continue my daily business as usual, the rain causes impediments that slow my progress. The trip to the store takes a little longer because of traffic. Just getting ready requires additional clothes or locating an umbrella. While these little inconveniences cause frustration on one level, they provide just enough of a distraction and shift of focus.

Then the rain finally breaks. The air has that wonderful smell, the leaves appear greener, the dirt is a richer color of red-brown, and even the pavement looks vibrantly black. Peeks of the days last rays of sunlight burst through clouds, scattering reflections everywhere. The sky transforms into a rapidly shifting canvas. History’s best painters have spent lifetimes trying to capture that unique color of blue glimpsed at through the break in the clouds. The clouds seem to catch fire as the light and water continue to dance high above. There is a palpable pause, momentary and fleeting. The imposed slow down has presented a gift, a glimpse of what I may be missing when I get caught up in the rush of my day. Dust, oil, dirt and leaves careen down gutters and storm drains, taking my negative energy with them.

As if someone pressed a rest button, the activity around me ramps up again to normal speed. I linger a moment longer before jumping back into my day. My mind, body, and spirit all benefited from the brief immersion in the dark damp storm. I emerge lighter, brighter and re-energized, with the sense that I have been granted a fresh start. I have another opportunity to slow down, be present in my life, make new choices, and change the impact I make on the world around me. Sometimes it takes the power of a storm to remind me that I don’t have to wait for the next rain; I have the power to create a fresh start with each breath I take, this I believe.