Sleep is a precious commodity, and it’s changed quite a bit for me since my first accident in ’09. (For more on how I sleep with back discomfort, check out this post.)
Unfortunately, I’ve had renewed difficulty sleeping since my August 8th accident, especially the last few weeks. Between the intensity of the physical therapy, the attempts to ween myself off of muscle relaxants, and my search for the best OTC pain-killers (Advil was my pill of choice, but I started noticing a ringing in my ears similar to when I was on prescription pain killers) – my sleep is suffering.
As a result, each morning is a bit more of a struggle than previously. Today in particular, I saw the light peeking through the blinds and groaned thinking “I really hope it’s cloudy today; I am not in the mood to face the sun this morning.” And to my delight, it was overcast.
In fact, as I stepped outside for my morning walk, a light, warm rain began. So I grabbed my raincoat and continued onwards.
Central Texas has somewhat unpredictable weather – not quite the fickle climate of the Northeast, but – there can be unexpected flash foods, strong winds, and scorching temperatures at times. So this bit of rain wasn’t particularly surprising, especially since it’s October and we’ve been getting occasional storms and showers for the last couple of weeks. But, because it’s often unclear whether a few raindrops mean a light sprinkle or an impending deluge, I figured it might be the former and I kept walking – dry inside my raincoat.
Well, within about 15 minutes, the gentle drops became a strong storm. I personally enjoy rain – it’s refreshing and makes me feel like I’m interacting with the environment/Earth – but this was A LOT of rain.
Suddenly, I noticed a lawn maintenance worker huddled under the awning of a carport, and a biker calling a ride from his cell phone taking shelter underneath a tree, and a runner trying to divert roadside puddles which were quickly becoming rivers. And I felt my pants, unprotected by the raincoat, soaked and sticking to my legs; the water seeping into my sneakers and dampening my socks.
And I was struck by the ability of the rain to suddenly place all of us – the lawn maintenance person, the biker, the runner, me – into this immediate shared experience. We were all thrust into being present and, well, wet.
In that moment, while I lamented the inconvenience of the weather and its wetness, I felt a sense of togetherness. The rain had effectively brought each of us into the same point in time. I wasn’t the girl with back pain who can’t dance, and they weren’t whoever they embody, we were all just people caught in the rain getting wet.
I felt happier at that feeling of commonality; Not the shared misery (though some might see it that way), more like shared humanity. It didn’t matter than I haven’t been sleeping properly for weeks, that my neck and back felt sore, that I woke up cranky, that I have chores to do, or that any of the other folks had whichever traits and tasks on their minds, too. All that mattered is that we were humans and trying to navigate a rainstorm.
Sometimes nature has a way of reminding me about what really matters, and to give up on what I can’t control. Have you ever had a similar experience?
Thanks for reading,