For some strange reason I enjoy walking in the rain. Today I walked from the Minneapolis Central Library to the Basilica. I’m not sure how long it was, but it was a good 25 minute walk. It was cool today, but not annoyingly cold. My jacket kept me warm enough. Though my shoes weren’t quite up to the task. I wasn’t miserable though. I had a podcast in my ears and it felt good to get some fresh air.
I think I enjoy walking in the rain because it allows me to focus and grounds me back in the reality of things. I could have taken the bus down the street or waited it out, but I had been in the office for most of the day and I just wanted to get outside. I thought about calling it quits at points and just waiting for the bus. I just kept on moving though.
I think about the movie Midnight in Paris. The main character, played by Owen Wilson, enjoys walking in the rain. His fiance, played by Rachel McAdams, does not. She questions why anyone would want to wander around in the rain. It’s wet, miserable, and pointless. I see myself Wilson’s character. I’m a bit of a daydreamer and an optimist. I like to do things for the experience of it.
I’m a wanderer. I like to meander around places just for the sake of it. I’ll take the long way on foot. When I lived in Boston, I was known to just walk places because i was too impatient for the bus or the T. I would contend that that’s a good way to get to know a city. I couldn’t give driving directions, but I could tell people how to get to all the major places on foot.
Maybe it’s also the romantic in me that thinks there is something noble about walking in the rain. It’s cool. It’s mysterious. It looks good on an album cover photograph. That’s not always the case. Sometimes the water soaks through your shoes and clings to your socks. That’s happened to me the past couple days and I haven’t enjoyed it. It’s not fun. But I made it to my destination today. My feet are now warm and dry.
To go back to the original question, why would anyone willingly walk in the rain? Well, I think it’s good to expose yourself to the elements from time to time. Most of us can go through life in climate controlled buildings and most times we can just turn away from things we don’t like. We go from house to car to office to car to home. It’s easy to avoid the rain most times. I believe it’s good to be out in the rain and just face it. It reminds you that sunny days don’t last forever. It reminds you to be prepared with rain coats and boots. And most of all, it reminds you that one of the toughest things in life is to smile when it’s raining out.