A Deep Breath in the Rain

Do you like my dramatic title? Well, it’s not raining yet, but it’s going to very soon. Possibly it’s going to storm very soon. There’s a thunderstorm front moving across Iowa, and it’s headed this way.

Right now I’m sitting at an outdoor table at a market. I’m eating brownie batter ice cream made by a local business, and the compostable spoon is ever so slightly cutting my cheek every time I take a bite. But it is very good ice cream.

I was able to leave work a little early today, and it was sort of a stressful day, so I stopped at this place I pass every day on my way to and from work. And now I’m just sitting here. Existing. I’m breathing in the smell of rain and watching the clouds get darker. The breeze has gotten cooler and less humid.

I love moments like this. Being able to just sit and take in the world around me without feeling guilty or like there’s a million other things I should be doing is a skill I learned in grad school. The stress of today was nothing like grad school, but I have found that it’s important to me to take a few minutes every so often and just sit and exist in the world around me. It started in the Student Union one December right before break. I had an extra half an hour between finals, and instead of sitting and studying whatever information that I knew I wouldn’t retain I just got some tea and a lemon poppyseed bread slice and sat and breathed. And then I started doing it at the bus stop. I used the few minutes it took to wait in line at a store. And it became a habit. A very healthy habit at that.

I tend to forget to do this as often now, and my stress levels are very different than they were, but I always feel better afterwards. The rain can be such a cleansing thing. It washes the humidity out of the air and makes the air fresher, and it’s something I’ve enjoyed as long as I can remember.

The wind has just picked up and the first few raindrops have started. In the interest of phone preservation I should go inside.

Have you ever just taken a minute to breathe and observe and exist? I hope you have.

Tristin

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