No Rain

The rain from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence just keeps coming. I've always enjoyed rain, even when there's too much of it. I think much of the reason is that rain always seems to lead to lowered lights, tea kettles whistling, and a sense that shelter is truly shelter from the elements. It's harder to have that feeling when it's sunny out. The rain is like a reminder of how good it is to have a place to feel close and safe...and few things are as satisfying as a long day simply "being" without having to be anywhere or do anything.

That's how relationships work for us, too. Having just one other person we feel close to can make even the worst of weather, the worst of life circumstances feel somehow more bearable. It's like we just need at least one other person to shelter us, hold us close. The best relationships (of whatever kind) are the ones where we can simply "be" without having to dress up, put on appearance, or feel self-conscious about who we are. We also need to know that there is someone who'll say, "I'll always be there when you wake." The thing we long for is to know that we're safe. It makes the rain outside more enjoyable and it helps tears dry up, too.

The "Bee Girl" heroine in the "No Rain" video sets off to find a place where she can just dance and be who she is. She tries to dance her Bee Girl dances for all kinds of folks who just don't know what to make of her. Eventually she finds a lush, green rolling meadow with a whole group of other bee people, ethnically diverse men and women dancing around in bee costumes. They welcome her frenetic, awkward, and carefree dancing. At the end they even lift her up in the air, holding her up in celebration of who she is, before they all dance together around her with her happiness almost palpable. She'd found folks who made her safe, accepted her, and even honored her.

The scenes of the Bee Girl are interspresed with scenes of Blind Melon performing against a blue sky backdrop in a lush, green rolling meadow. For Shannon Hoon, the Blind Melon lead singer and songwriter, "No Rain" was like his coming to terms with the lonliness of his addictions, the isolation that often comes with being different, and the warmth he felt from family and friends, especially when he was at his weakest. In the video, he sings and dances and fully engages his song in the midst of the band. The parallel is striking because of what it reveals about Hoon, but also how it connects our sense of isolation to the sort of redemption that we find in the midst of those who accept us as we are and even encourage us to express ourselves in our own ways, as fully as we want.

On those rainy and sunshiny days, may you always have someone around you who lets you be your best you. And may you always be the kind of person who encoruages others to be their best selves, too.