Upon realizing it was raining on the way down to take out the trash, my daughter asked me, “Why do we have the rain… and mosquitoes and spiders and all that? Why can’t it just be ladybugs and humans?”
Answering a child’s questions helps us tackle profound topics with simple logic so I took the bait…
“Well, this world isn’t just about humans. It’s not just about you. Some people like spiders. Rain feeds the ground. Mosquitoes… I’m not sure about mosquitoes.”
The truth is my daughter is smart enough to realize all of these things. In fact, she’s a Science geek but that doesn’t stop her from wishing things weren’t as they are when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable for her. She pushes away facts for feeling, like the rest of us.
So what if it means insects take over the world! Or all the plants dry up and turn to dust, or someone you don’t know loses a love.
By the bottom step, my daughter was back to reality, appreciating gravity as she dumped out our recyclables.
She held out her hand to catch a few droplets and then ran back upstairs.
When it comes to comfort and progress, we can be selfish beings, pulling the blanket off our partner in the middle of the night, eating the last bowl of cereal, wishing away the rain as we start our day.
I could just start to feel my slippers soaking through on the bottom.
And then a door slammed shut a few houses down, yanking me out of my head. I watched as a little girl broke free from her mama’s grip, ran for the curb, and jumped with both feet into a pothole filled with muddy water. Mom wasn’t happy.
Our desires are innocent enough, part of being human.
But, if you can pull away from yourself for a moment, you who resents the weather, you who dislikes the dampness in your shoes… you will see the girl down the street, or across town, or in another city, splashing with both feet in the puddles. You will see the plants turning green. You will see the spider eating the mosquito.
And your soggy slippers won’t matter as much.