Rainy out? (We’re having yet another week of April showers here in Oregon as I write this.) We don’t usually get to choose the weather, but we can choose how we respond or react to it. Sure, it’s not as fun to walk with an umbrella or a raincoat, but sometimes a drizzly – or down-pouring – walk is better than none. With judicious choice of all-weather attire – e.g. long (knee or ankle-length) rainproof coats or ponchos with hoods that can be battened down in gusty weather, waterproof shoes or boots and sometimes even rain chaps, we can select our level of participation even when we can’t exactly control the precipitation. Here’s a favorite poem that uses a boating metaphor, but the wisdom can be generalized to just about any circumstances, including walks in inclement climates and conditions:
“One ship sails East, And another West, By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails And not the gales, That tells the way we go.”
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox
There are obviously plenty of good reasons when rainy walks should be skipped, including extreme or dangerous weather, when you are fighting illness or are over-tired and can’t afford to get ill, and probably several more. However, if it’s just a matter of getting up off your chair (reminder to self to do this in an hour!) and donning a bit of winter weather garb, why not brave a little elemental moisture and get out there and enjoy nature, fresh air and perhaps even invigorating exercise … Maybe the sun will peek through the clouds a bit if you’re fortunate, too. If it just doesn’t make sense to walk outdoors, here are some great options to consider.
- Fewer folks, particularly handy for those who prefer solitude and perhaps more peaceful ambiance
- Cleaner air; the rain does tend to ‘wash the air’
- Calming effect of the smell of rain
- Skin and other health benefits; nature’s moisturizer!
- Independence: bolster a self-image of greater immunity to circumstance and more options
- Burn more calories in cooler weather and/or with attire that adds a little heft to the exercise
- Perspective and empowerment; seeing familiar places from a different orientation can put things in perspective, even if you’re not a photographer looking for interesting lighting that sometimes can only be achieved on overcast or rainy days
- Fun; splash in a puddle or two if you feel like it and feel unfettered by it all
When you get back, treat yourself to a warm (or hot) shower and/or something warm (or hot) to drink like your favorite herbal tea. When I lived in snow country, I liked to have a cup of tea ready except for ‘flipping the switch’ on the electric teapot after coming in from shoveling the driveway; the same approach works for any sort of cooler weather. Happy singing and dancing (or just walking) in the rain. 🙂