A little rain must fall


The expression is simple enough… covers the ground that we all encounter moments of sadness.

Happens, it says. That’s life, it says. Sometimes it’s even necessary, it doesn’t say but we like to believe.

The other day I was walking along and passed a couple of people that were talking, and one of them pulled out this old standby gem of a saying. And, since I didn’t hear any other part of their conversation, all I can say is fine. Nice thought. Quite likely well-intended.

But it got me wondering. Because the first place my mind went… for whatever reason… was to kick up a spoken in silence sarcasm, close to: “Hopefully not falling on an outdoor wedding.” And I probably don’t need to tell you that tangent thoughts just exploded from there as I got in my car and set off on a twenty minute or so drive home.

Rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck.

I am one million percent convinced that this expression was first expressed on a rainy day, by a member of a bride’s family, as that very bride looked out upon a deluge of water flowing down from dark clouds while pitching the greatest freak out hissy fit ever recorded by a photographer, and, depending on the budget, videographer.

Here’s the crazy thing… unless you can document some highly unusual fondness for rain or something such as a heartwarming story about departed family and the resulting comfort found in thunder… I feel confident saying that 100% of brides asked would take dry and sunny for the special day.

(Not one would vote for rain and good luck. 100%. Ahh… but the original saying… into everyone’s life, occasionally some rain. Not exclusively into everyone’s wedding day, some downpours. Ok…)

There’s different types of rain.

There’s unexpected rain while heading someplace dressed really nice but without an umbrella.

There’s strong storm rain with wind and more that uproot trees, damage property and knock out power lines.

There’s steady rain that waters plants and yards, gardens and farms, while bringing about life and health and color and beauty.

Let’s at this point come up with an important understanding for our discussion here, and bring things back a bit… we’re going to stay on the path that rain is a bad thing. That’s an important element to consider when the discussion begins to include yards and gardens and rainbows and puddle-stomping.

We don’t pull out a “into every life, a little rain must fall” offering of comfort with someone winning the lottery. (“Hey, yeah, sorry about that one hundred million dollars you won. Well, everyone has to face a storm or two now and then. It’ll clear up and get better.” That doesn’t happen. In broad, sweeping, generic views, rain is a negative. All those sayings about rain begin there.)

What the weddings give us is a bit of perspective.

I like snow. A dusting, a decent covering, a blizzard. I like snow.

Sort of.

When I don’t need to clear the driveway to get anyplace immediately and can address it at my own pace… when the heating of my house is not in danger because I badly need a delivery of oil or I’m running low on firewood… when I have plenty of hot cocoa available… I love snow. Beautiful stuff.

When it’s dirty and slushy… and I need to get out of the driveway and in to work and I’m already running late… when the dogs spot it and want to go outside every three and a half minutes again and again and again and again and again to play… when a path needs to be cleared so the oil tank can be filled… not a big fan of snow.

It’s also not the cold or hot or weather that bothers me. In similar ways.

I’m fine with warm days. Hot and humid are ok. Unless I’m trying to sleep… unless I step out of the shower and already need another shower before I get dressed. Don’t ruin my day or inconvenience me, and we’ll be fine.

Back to the rain.

When I was a kid, we had a basketball hoop in the driveway. And, as kids are prone to doing, we often stayed outside… even in the rain… to play. For some reason, I happened to notice I did better when it rained. I have zero clue why. But it gave me a bit of a mindset. I tend to deal well with rain, literally and figuratively. Creates a focus I suppose. Still…


Bad thing…


The trick of rain… or a storm… or any cliché we might explore… is a simple concept: perspective. Or… in a better way of saying it… location.

It’s sunny and 70 degrees in San Diego as a foot of snow is on the way to New England.

The same storm changing plans at a wedding is watering someone’s garden.

The hurdles and tears from yesterday are recalled with character and laughter tomorrow.

Location. By distance… by viewpoint… by time.

A little rain must fall. But that’s about the only must part of it. The rest is life, and that’s unpredictable. (Just do what you can to position yourself accordingly when selecting your seats to watch it fall.)


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com