Dance in the Rain

I relocated to the Southern Cali mountains in June, 1999. That summer our community saw a lot of rain – and thank goodness it did, because I’d rented a miniscule, 500-square-foot cabin without air conditioning and trust me, my friends, it gets hot here.

That change of residence was the end result of planning started a full year prior, prepping my former house for sale. You know the drill. I gave away tons of stuff, held a million garage sales, faux-painted flagstone by hand across a huge cement pool deck, cleaned every surface, bought new drapes and towels and decorated the house to a “t.” The work paid off big time, because the property sold three days after I hammered in the sign beside the driveway.

My life was forever altered with that move. I’d stored away prized possessions that made the cut and trucked just the bare minimum up to the tiny cottage, not sure if I would care to stay longer than a few weeks. The transition was odd and sudden – like a cartoon car screeching to a halt in a comic parody of a full stop, and the first month was a difficult adjustment.

After 365 days of crazy, chaotic hubbub, the dead calm that accompanied my new life in
an unfamiliar rental was like a dream. I couldn’t sleep. I lay on the couch for the first week, drinking wine (after 5:00, of course) and listening to the wind and the birds sing. Bit by bit I began to explore a new bank, new town, new grocery store, the new post office. The ladies who worked in the library didn’t know my name. I felt a bit manic, out of my skin.

Then it began to rain. The showers were welcome, cooling. The storms washed the fuzzy film off everything, including my mind, and wiped the slate clean. The tap of raindrops was consistent that summer, and the sound provided a sense of relief beyond the cool. A veil of mist descended. The onset ended uncomfortable bouts of seller’s remorse, second-guessing and overactive thoughts. The damp air helped me breathe again.

I threw open every window in that tiny place and stood in the doorway, my new window on the world, watching as the parched earth soaked up the heavenly gift. The dog and I walked in spite of the drizzle, splashed through puddles, laughed and raced among the wet, dripping oaks. I felt cocooned in the thundershowers and could barely put a foot wrong.

Twelve years ago, I chose to believe those seasonal storms were a sign that my judgment had changed for the better, that I could trust my decisions, that the voice in my head had really whispered the right words. I felt my actions would improve the quality of my life for the long-term.

In retrospect, I know that moving to this small town was the best choice I’ve made in decades. I simplified and found my place, enjoying the company of new friends and neighbors. I can step out my front door and indulge in longs walks along winding, tree-lined rural roads with little traffic and lots of startling, vivid scenery.

What I learned from that leap – and every risk I’ve taken since, is that it’s okay to take a chance. Make the change. Listen to your gut. Follow your heart, hold on to your dream, whatever it may be. My life is a bright reflection of a favorite quote: Anyone who says only sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.

The weather forecast is calling for showers this week. Bring it on, world, I’m ready. Thunder, lightening? I’m not afraid. Let it pour.

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20 Responses to Dance in the Rain

  1. Carol J. Garvin September 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    I live in western Canada. I’ve never been farther south than northern California, and that was on the coast, yet your description paints a clear picture of where you are and why you love it. I’m glad taking the risk brought you the contentment you desired. (My arthritis doesn’t let me dance any more, but I like walking in the rain with my dog, too!)

    • Molly Greene September 6, 2011 at 12:40 am #

      Carol, I’ve never been farther north than Seattle, but would love to visit your area one day – and dance in the rain in Canada! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

  2. Stacy S. Jensen (@StacySJensen) September 6, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    I love the rain quote. We took a leap on our wedding day and “called it” to stay put, begin the ceremony. Hubby and I married in the rain. Our guests were soaked and didn’t seem to mind it too much. We had fun.

    • Molly Greene September 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      “If it rains on the day you marry, it will be sunny for the rest of your life” – another great quote. Thanks so much for sharing, Stacy!

  3. jack595 September 6, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Yoy should write a book about this but because you are not famous yet think of a title like ‘Dancing in the rain with Harriet Plotter’ or ‘ My place in the rain reminded me of Hogworts’.
    You could sell a million.
    The story of your mishaps was very enjoyable.

    • Molly Greene September 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

      I love that you’ve said “not famous YET” – bless you for that, my friend, and thanks so much for the read and comment!

  4. workmomad September 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I’m glad you found your place and that you can write about it so eloquently.


    • Molly Greene September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      Thank you so much, Nancy!

  5. Juliet Greenwood September 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Hi Molly,
    I live in Wales in the UK, and I definitely second that about dancing in the rain! I moved from London to a tiny village in the mountains, and I’ve never looked back. The risk gave me the space to become a writer. I still love visiting the city, but my little cottage is where it’s at.

    Keep dancing.


    • Molly Greene September 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      A change of scenery stirs up the brain cells and gives us a different view of life. Juliet, thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, I love what you’ve shared!

  6. Kea Alwang September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Molly, this morning had been horrible so far. Having given up soooo much this summer to focus on self publishing my first novel, editing, choosing a cover, etc., I am met with only today before regular workdays and school days begin tomorrow. While I have accomplished so much this summer, I have not hit the formatting stage, and something made me feel like a complete idiot for using the summer to make my dream come true. It had been a teary, overwhelming morning and I wound up on Twitter, despite not having the time to do so. Something made me click on your link to this post and my attitude and mood has changed dramatically…all for the better. Plus…it’s also raining by me. Thank you for your post. It set me back on track today.

    • Molly Greene September 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

      Kea, I have this odd philosophy that it doesn’t matter how you spend your time – what really matters is who you become as a result. Please keep in touch and share your progress!

  7. Pamela Beason September 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Beautifully written, Molly. Whenever I’m dissatisfied with the status quo, I try to change something. Which no doubt explains why I’ve had so many different “careers” and write in different genres, too. I don’t expect life to always be easy, but I know life can always be interesting if you just keep your mind open to all of life’s wonderful possibilities. And living just 20 miles south of the British Columbia border, I do a lot of fun activities in the rain!

    • Molly Greene September 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      I seem to like my routine to stay exactly the same, then one day I just say, “enough!” and change as much as I can. Pam, I bet you have the best rain gear EVER! Love your comment, thank you so much, as always.

  8. Darby Rae (@mercifullaw) September 10, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    Last December I rented a cabin in Brown County, Indiana (hour plus south of where I live) and took nothing but books, my computer (for writing) and my dog. It was glorious! I tease my kids when they are all off to college I will sell the house and move to the boonies. (They prefer that to me selling the house and moving in with each of them for one season.= ) You have a wonderful story. Thx for sharing.

    • Molly Greene September 10, 2011 at 1:19 am #

      Darby, if your dog likes to play w/doggie companions you’re both welcome to come & stay here. My Frank and I don’t talk much but we make a mean salad and can host the loveliest walks. Lots of writing time. Mwah! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

  9. Kitty June 5, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    What a gorgeous post. With the daily drudgery of family commitments, work, etc, it is very easy to get stuck in a rut. I think I definitely am due to shake things up a bit! Even if it’s something small like painting the living room. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to make a change every so often.

    • Molly Greene June 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

      And thank you for stopping by my blog and for the lovely comment!

  10. Patricia Sands June 5, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    Molly, this post brought tears to my eyes more than once! Beautifully written, a story most definitely worth sharing. Even with my advancing age, I dream of moving to France (that’s why I have my characters do it!) and if the best I can do is manage only a few months a year … I’ll take that and join you dancing in the rain, every chance I get! We are never too old to change! I hope you are writing a book about your experience because this post is a perfect synopsis!

    • Molly Greene June 5, 2014 at 8:51 am #

      Thank you so much, Patricia! I think it’s vital that we make changes as we get older, just for the simple reason that it’s harder to, but at the same time they’re inevitable. And the more we practice, the easier it is to take a leap. If I can ever get this house ready to sell I’ll be off on a new adventure, and I have NO IDEA what I’m going to decide to do. Maybe visit France with you!