It’s a Beautiful Day, Don’t Let It Get Away

U2 Concert_Bill Stimpson & Michelle Stimpson

When the rain comes there’s only one thing to do. And all my life I’ve been conditioned to do it.

When it rains:

You postpone plans.

You stay indoors.

You sing “Rain, rain go away…”.

You close the windows.

You wish for a sunny day.

You check the news to see when the rain will end.

You are glad for the flowers, trees, and grass…but not for yourself.

You cover your head.

You run from the door to the car.

You hope to heck that your hair doesn’t get wet.

I’m 42, and I just learned a new way.

A night with U2

The legendary band, U2, came to Minneapolis last weekend. It was our first outdoor stadium concert here since 1978! Bill and I had to be a part of all the buzz here in the Twin Cities and were excited to participate in a historic night.

U2 TCF Bank Stadium_Michelle Stimpson

In front of the new TCF Bank Stadium

Storms were predicted right around show time. Hmm, what to do? On our way to the concert, we picked up the last two clear plastic “emergency rain ponchos” hanging on the rack at the local drug store. When I asked the lady behind the counter if they carried them, she said: “Aha! I bet you’re going to the U2 concert. Hurry before they’re gone!” So we grabbed them and stashed ‘em in my purse.

It was a beautiful hot summer night here in the Twin Cities. And that’s one of my absolute favorite parts of life: Hot. Summer. Nights. Love ‘em like crazy.

We enjoyed a few beers before the show and made our way into the stadium as the sun was setting.

U2 came on and the band blew us away!

About an hour into the show – as the first notes of “Beautiful Day” began – the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, and the gusts of an impending storm front swept through the crowd. And just at the same moment, colorful fireworks burst high into the sky from a nearby downtown celebration. Really? You’re killin’ me with the timing of this. It was too cool for words.

Shortly afterwards, it started raining. So we, along with a few other smart ones around us, got those ponchos on. And we stayed relatively dry and continued to enjoy the music while the rain continued to fall.

And then the downpour. Those four talented guys on that elaborate stage didn’t even flinch and kept pounding out the tunes. Lightning bolts off in the distance and a crack of thunder. The rain was so hard that it almost hurt my head! I kept my flimsy poncho hood pulled tight over my head to protect myself, just as I was supposed to.

Then it all changed.

The band catapulted the stadium of 58,000 fans into “Sunday Bloody Sunday” – with an incredibly powerful and soul-stirring performance. I felt the power of the bass in my chest. As I jumped up and down with the crowd, I noticed the standing water over my squishy flip flops, and the bottoms of my capri jeans were wet and heavy.

But I let the music fill me to the top. It was then that I woke up.

Seeing the light

A sense of “carpe diem” came over me. I ripped the ridiculous poncho hood off my head, which was getting in my way anyway, and pulled it down. Then I looked up to the sky and held my arms up high. I took a deep and purposeful breath of the fresh air in and felt the rain pelting my skin and my arms and face, and I let my mascara run all the way down my cheeks.

I opened my eyes and saw the guy next to me doing the same thing. Taking a momentary break from his night-long air guitar performance, he looked up at the sky, fully soaked, and raised his arms upward. It was like we were both thanking God in unison for this amazing moment in time. I’ll never see that guy again, but in that instant, I felt like I was connected to him forever.

I basked in it all. I’m quite sure that I’ve never let myself feel the rain like that. Ever. Complete goosebumps.

The show became a whole different experience for me as I engaged all my senses, and I felt fully alive. Giving in to “life” was the best gift I could give myself. Just like Bono sings: “It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away…”

The entire concert experience was incredible. My buddies on Facebook keep using the same word that I can’t get away from, either: “Epic.” It’s true. It was epic. I’m so grateful that I let myself feel all of life that night. It was quite the spiritual experience for me.

U2 in the rain_Michelle StimpsonI was reminded that totally living in the moment is a choice. At first, I was doing everything I could to keep myself as dry as possible. Wonder what purpose that would have served? It was when I finally let go and “rode the wave,” so to speak, that I was following the joy of the moment and was fully living. Thanks, U2, for leading the way.

So my new learning is this:

When the rain comes there’s only one thing to do.

Rock on, my friends!

Were you at the show? Love for you to share your experience below!

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16 Responses to “It’s a Beautiful Day, Don’t Let It Get Away”

  • connie lahammer says:

    yet again I have goosebumps after reading your words! and yes, a little bit of regret for making excuses for not going to this concert myself. sounded so amazing but thankfully I felt I got to experience just a bit of it through your words.

  • Amelia says:

    Ahhhhh Michelle, your wonderful words explained exactly how I felt! For a split second, I thought about running up to the concourse to stay dry– but then I thought no way, I’m going to embrace this and experience and savor every minute!

  • I’m so glad to see a new post – fun! We were coming out of a play when the rain started pelting us and I thought of all of you out there, hoping you were drinking it ALL in. My grandma raced for the car – so quickly we couldn’t say goodbye (she had to protect her hair, of course) and Ryder started running, too, conditioned to hide from the storm. I sauntered and told him there was no need to avoid the rain…we were just going home anyway. I love that feeling of fresh rain on my skin. Bet it was amazing with the energy of the band and the crowd, too. Way cool!

  • Char says:

    Just love the smile on your face, I can feel your joy seeing it! Thanks for sharing, love this!!

  • Karin says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful blog. I got chills when I watched the video since it was so magical and moving being there live that night. I love your phrase – ‘soul stirring’! It’s so hard to put into word how much the spirit, music and lyrics of U2 move me. It was an ‘Epic’ night for sure…I’ve been thinking of it several times a day since Saturday. Did you catch it when Bono said…’if you come to join us in the rain we will sing to you all night in the rain’? Rock on Sista!

    By the way…Beautiful Day is Mike’s favorite song. When we drop our cabin cruiser in the river every year, the tradition is to get your ‘splash date’ scheduled and blast your favorite song for the world to hear as you’re ‘splashing’. We blast away with Beautiful Day!

  • Bill says:

    Man, that was a fantastic show! I can’t explain why, but it felt like we witnessed something really special that night.
    It was an experience I will NEVER forget. :)

  • Virginia says:

    So glad you decided to “seize the day”. I wasn’t at that show, but was at two other U2 360 shows. There’s nothing like it! When they play “STREETS” and the floodlights shine on the entire crowd, I get that sense of “Wow”… how we are ALL connected at that time and place by that experience. Thanks for sharing such a great story!

  • Jeff says:

    My goodness. Michelle, I’ve always enjoyed reading your contributions to Following Your Joy, but there was something about the way you wrote this story that made me wonder if you had just finished some kind of master writing course. Maybe it’s the music. Maybe it’s how our phone coaching session last year inspired me to drive straight to the CD store and buy three U-2 albums. I don’t know. But it’s there, and I’m grinning from ear to ear. Thank you to you and Bill for sharing your lives!

  • Laura says:

    Loved this. I like you wanted to stay dry, but I wasn’t smart enough to go get a poncho. I hate being in the rain and getting wet. When U2 was not even phased by the rain AT ALL something came over me as well. These guys aren’t skipping a beat and it was just amazing. Euphoric! I loved every minute of it! What an incredible night. I may even walk in the rain instead of run next time ;)

  • sharon says:

    awesome review, Michelle! Again, gave me goosebumps and made me smile……you are right, Bill…you did experience something special that night…I saw U2 probably in 2004 and I STILL can relive every special moment of it…..I cried during Surrender….and then the song Bono goes into after it….how you can have an entire stadium of 60,000 people all quiet and then singing the same words just enthrals me….that, my friends, is a very unique and special thing….something that touches us forever…I have been to many concerts of my most favorite band ;) and yet the U2 concert tops them all….such heart and soul and realness to it all….my only regret….I did not go to this one…I really need to push myself to get out of my rut!!! Sooo glad you two went! love you! oxoo sharon

  • Tracy says:

    You two are shiny happy people!! LOVE it!!
    xo
    Tracy

  • Jane says:

    Joy in the rain! Precious snap of you two Michelle and Bill! Great captivating image to blow-up on a wall. I am smiling big having just read this a la music. I’m shutting the computer off right now to go dance!! Love you so!

  • Tim says:

    Michelle:

    Thanks for sharing your story…a very good one on several levels. We certainly can choose our attitude at every moment – it sounds like you chose the right one for the show. Back in the day I sat through 2 very wet concerts…the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd. In each case, the rain really added to the experience. I will say, though, that your rain at the U2 show sounds worse…like the jungle scene in Romancing the Stone (I know that was ages ago). Anyhow, thanks again!

  • linda says:

    i absolutely LOVE you guys!!!!!!!!! your words…….your reactions to situations, your outlook, your perspective, your karma, your love, your vibe…..you bring joy to my life at all times………thank you!

  • Everyone! Thank you SO much for your wonderful and loving comments! Each and every note from you made me smile, and it’s so fun to have each of you join in the fun – and the joy – of the moment with me. Know that your sweet comments and feedback lift me up and I feel so blessed. THANK YOU!!!

  • Stacy says:

    Great great story!! :) Wish I could have been there! You are an amazing writer!! :) Thanks for sharing!

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company



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