One of my children’s favorite things to do is play in the rain. Regardless of the weather, when they hear the telltale drips they’re on their feet and out the door within minutes, ready to frolic. Of course, they inevitably come back about ten minutes later, soaked through and freezing and begging for towels; but there’s nowhere in the world they’d rather be in that moment.
This week has been incredibly wet for my part of the midwest, and I couldn’t be more thankful – it is sorely needed. As a Pagan in a drought-prone area, there’s few more sacred moments than hearing those first drops fall; and that’s a feeling I want to pass on to my children. This can work for any natural phenomena, so if your area has different exciting events, please adapt and bend these suggestions to fit your own experience!
The first and I feel the most important thing I do when it first starts to rain is thank both the rain and the deity I honor who I believe is responsible; for me as a Heathen, it’s Thor. I throw up my hands and say “Hail Thor, bringer of the rains. Thank you for this life-giving water! Hail to the rains who pour down on this land. Thank you for nourishing all that live here!”. After that’s done, I try to do my best to both feel and express real joy about what’s happening – even if I’m not thrilled that it’s pouring and sixty degrees outside while I’m trying to walk the kids home from school. You know how parents are always saying their kids teach them how to have fun? Let your children teach you how to find joy in nature. My personal favorite is to run around shouting “Everything is getting a drink! Isn’t that amazing?”. That usually gets all of our blood pumping!
My favorite part is after the rain has stopped, and we can go for a family walk to explore all the changes. The little creek near our house is fed from the storm drains, so any amount of rain causes it to swell considerably. While it spends most of the summer hidden beneath grasses growing out from the marsh-like mix of mud and a sparse amount of water, after a rain storm it roars to life. The grasses are bent ninety degrees, flowing along with the waters (though by the next day they pop right back up!) and sometimes little fish or frogs can be seen making their way through the current. Everything seems more colorful after the rain – the greens shine greener, the blue of the sky is brighter, even the colors of butterflies and other insects stand out more than before. The children love to skip through the puddles, pointing out all the new things and little differences they can find.
Last, before we head inside, I like to take a bit of rainwater gathered in a leaf or hollow in the ground, and anoint the children. Saying “May the rain ever bless you,” I trace the shape of a raindrop on each child’s forehead, marking the moment as sacred and full of meaning. The best way to teach a child what times are sacred is to live those moments with sacred purpose.
photo courtesy of shutterstock