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.
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.
I 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!