This morning, it was raining heavily. People think I am crazy for walking in a downpour. I know this because, as I passed a guy who was getting into his car, he said, "What are you, crazy?"
So, I'm crazy. But, in the wider scope, is walking in the rain really that crazy? I mean, there are people out there who jump out of planes and who swim with sharks off of the Great Barrier Reef. Getting wet is not exactly "extreme" behavior. But...it is a slight defiance of reason, isn't it?
There's even the old expression meant to criticize a person for having no common sense: "He doesn't have the sense to come in out of the rain."
Maybe, though, we need small-and-often defiances of reason more than we need the occasional mad romp.
When Sting released his album of lute songs by John Dowland ("the Renaissance Paul McCartney," I once heard him called) he named it Songs from the Labyrinth. It seems that on one of Sting's estates, he has an old labyrinth. I mentioned it in a similar capacity, here. I also mentioned that Sting said that he sometimes walks the labyrinth by following the winding pathways and he sometimes crosses over them -- deliberately "breaking the rules." He mentioned how mentally freeing it feels to do so...
...likewise, as I walk the little labyrinth of my neighborhood. In the winter, I didn't have the sense to come in out of the cold. In the spring, it's the rain I choose to defy. No one is at risk; it's no great act of civil disobedience; I'm no daredevil. But, let's face it: there's a big sky up there in the morning darkness, full of deep, unseen clouds pouring their rain onto miles of the Earth. There's something cool about being one of the only ants out of the hill when the gutters rush with noise and the good, sensible people are on treadmills or still in bed. There's the feeling of tiny me pushing up against an unimaginably huge Everything. No one sees this; no one cares; but, it feels good.
Life's no stage show. It's life. Maybe defiance, instead of being all dramatic explosions, protest marches and middle fingers, ought to just be a quiet half-hour out in the rain, doing what one's mother told one not to do for so long.
And, you know, it made my morning coffee and snuggle session with my dog, afterward, that much better. Comfort is relative to discomfort, is it not?