The cold rain falls from the darkened sky as the big blue truck takes me on my daily trek out of the mountains and into our capital city of Charleston West Virginia. The Carpenters had a valid point. Rainy days and Mondays are less than a joy in modern life. Rainy Mondays can be the worst. The rain collected on the windshield while I was having fuel pumped and there it was. A bright spot on my cold rainy Monday. I watched as the rain tried to wash away my bright spot but it only grew larger. In fact it continued to grow larger and brighter until I had enough to focus on and I captured it. I quickly pulled up the image and quickly edited for composition and brother the color and lighting back to what my eyes saw and held onto my bright spot all day. I made it the wallpaper on my phone and workstation at my day job. I focused on the bright spot all day and by afternoon the rain stopped.
Dark days are going to come. There’s no avoiding it. Rain is necessary to fill the aquifers that we draw from in the heat of the Summer. But I’m betting that if you look closely during the rain you’ll find a bright spot that refuses to be washed away. If you can focus on it then it will carry you through the dark times.
Shout out to Brown’s Service Station of Belva West Virginia for being a genuine full service gas station and coming out to operate the fuel pump no matter what the weather is.
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The darkened sky hangs ominously overhead as a chilled wind races across the ridges. I can already smell the rain in the damp air. I quicken my pace as the first few drops begin to change the color of the pavement. The old gnarly sweet gum tree seems to reach out to offer shelter for those who pass by it’s grounds. It has stood here on this windy ridge for hundreds of years and witnessed the passing of many generations. There was a time when it was not so tall and strong. A time when the Shawnee hunting parties passed silently by in moccasins. Then came the lumberjacks with axes and saws. But the gum tree was too twisted and crooked for their needs. Then came the farmers whose cattle rested under its boughs. Finally, a workman came with transits and plumbs and cement. With the skills of an architect and the heart of a poet. He fell in love with the knots and twists in the wood. This ancient and weathered tree would be a centerpiece of his creation in the park. As the people came and admired the old tree it felt a new sense of purpose and loved them back. Today it stands on the rim of the New River Gorge and welcomes all who pass down the trail. Including a photographer who sheltered from the rain a few days ago and imagined it’s story. In your travels through the heart of West Virginia take a few minutes to view and enjoy the New River Gorge Bridge at the little park just outside of Fayetteville and stretch your legs under the friendly old sweet gum tree in the park.
Every storm should end with a rainbow. The Bible says that God gave us the rainbow as a sign that he would never flood the entire world again. When times get dark and stressful we should look for the promise that things are not going to be tough forever. The storms will eventually pass.
I’m a person who values solitude. We as modern humans are bombarded with stimulus from every angle. Voices tell us to dress a certain way, go to certain places and pretty much influence every aspect of life. (Don’t even get me started on the “buy this or fail to be popular ” voice).
This park bench sets in the back of a office building. It’s a refuge for those who just need a quiet place to breathe. The day that I took the picture the rain served as an extra layer of protection from the outside world. The noise of other conversations, intrusion from others and even the excessive cologne from that one person in every crowd is washed away by the falling drops of rain.
It’s a time to decompress and renew my sense of self. On this bench I belong to me. Each drop that hits the cement pad ripples out as a tiny wave to push away the world.
Sitting in the rain on a cold winter day may not make sense to most people but for me it’s way to clean the day’s mental and emotional clutter from the soul.