Emily's Rain Dance
by JoAnne Dodgson, Ed.D.
Many beautiful gifts come along in such seemingly simple, ordinary moments. And it's often the youngest among us who have something extraordinary to share. During a holiday gathering with my family in Michigan several years ago, we were gathered outside on the porch one evening when it unexpectedly began to rain. Instantly, all the adults backed up against the walls of the house, seeking shelter beneath the roof. My four-year-old niece, however, had other ideas. Without a moment's hesitation, Emily spread her arms wide-open and lifted her face toward the sky. Smiling and laughing, she skipped barefoot around the porch, singing and shouting with glee, “It's raining! It's raining! It's raining!”
For Emily, the rain was cause for sweet celebration, a time to relish her connection with the natural wonders of life. She understood there was nothing to fear. She had no inclination to hide. Emily's dance was a striking contrast with the adults who were backed up against the walls diligently avoiding contact with the gentle raindrops which fell from the sky.
Witnessing Emily's exuberance, I wondered why I was ducking for cover. What was I hiding from? What was it that I feared? What shoulds and supposed-to's were ruling my behavior, inhibiting my own spontaneous play?
It was clear that Emily was deeply connected to something much bigger than whatever it was that was holding me back. the art of kim saulEmily openly expressed who she was and how she felt. Joining hands with the vibrant energy of life, she embodied freedom, passion, and joy.
I've thought of this night many times over the years, particularly when I find that I'm separating myself from the fullness of life,when I'm holding myself back rather than allowing what is natural and loving to be felt and celebrated and shared. Emily invited me to lift my face to the sky, to welcome the nourishment and magic raining down all around. She reminded me to dance in rhythm with the earth, to splash around in the puddles and wiggle my toes in the mud.
Emily's rain dance reminded me to play. To feel my joy. To celebrate beauty. To thrive in authentic, creative expression. To reach out with love to all that is. To sing and dance with the rain. Emily's raindance invited me to remember what lives deep in the heart of my soul.