Many beautiful gifts come along in such seemingly simple, ordinary moments. And it’s often the youngest among us who have something extraordinary to share. Many years ago, during a family holiday in Michigan, everyone gathered outside after our feast. Reminiscing about old family stories, our laughter joined up with the songs of the crickets as the nighttime settled in.
Unexpectedly it started to rain. Instantly the adults backed up against the walls of the house, seeking shelter beneath the rafters. My four-year-old niece, however, had other ideas. Without a moment’s hesitation, Emily spread her arms wide-open and lifted her face toward the sky. Smiling and laughing, she skipped barefoot around the porch. She shouted with glee, “It’s raining! It’s raining! It’s raining!”
For Emily, the rain was cause for sweet celebration. She relished her connection with the natural wonders of life. There was nothing to fear. She had no inclination to hide. Emily’s rain dance was a striking contrast with the collection of aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents huddled against the walls and diligently avoiding contact with the gentle raindrops falling from the sky.
Witnessing Emily’s unbridled delight, I wondered why I was ducking for cover. What was I hiding from? What was it that I feared? What shoulds and supposed-tos were ruling my behavior?
It was clear that Emily was deeply connected with something much bigger than whatever was holding me back. Emily openly expressed who she was. She joined hands with the vibrant energies of life, embodying freedom, passion, and joy.
Emily invited me to lift my face to the sky, to welcome the gifts raining down all around. Emily’s rain dance reminded me to play. To feel my joy. To thrive in my aliveness. To reach out with love to all that is.
Emily’s rain dance still calls me to remember what lives deep in the heart of my heart.