The Pleasures of Not Coming in Out of the Rain

My band, Manhattan Samba, always does the Gay Pride parade every year. I almost didn’t go this year because it was so oppressively hot. Thank God I did because this year there was a torrential downpour. It was so thick and hard and freezing cold at first, and you’d think that would have felt great, but it was shocking, like when you first jump into a cold pool. Plus my eyes were stinging from all the sunblock that was pouring into them. AND, I had to take my glasses off and therefore could only see the people around me. But once I got over the cold and the stinging, and surrendered to being completely drenched, it was positively ecstatic. It is just so completely liberating. Nothing matters, only joy. I wrote about going out in downpour in Waiting for My Cats to Die. Going out to play in the rain and letting yourself get completely soaked is one of life’s best gifts. And it’s free. If you’ve never done it before you must try it.

The next time you have the opportunity, don’t come in out of the rain.

You’re going to want to, and at first you will be cold and unhappy and thinking about your clothes, and dry cleaning bills and how unflattering your hair must look now, but make yourself hang in there and wait for that all to pass.

Here we are, before the rain. I wish I had a picture of us in the rain, but I couldn’t find one. (Picture posted by scottbx on Flickr.)


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “The Pleasures of Not Coming in Out of the Rain

  1. I haven’t done that since I was a kid.
    You make it sound so wonderful, I’m now checking weatherunderground for the next downpour…

  2. I got caught in that same torrential downpour here in Philadelphia on Sunday. I was coming out of a store and all the folks were congregated in the lobby milling about waiting for a break so they could run to their cars. I swooshed past them all and went running headlong into the deluge. I let go of my shopping cart, threw my hands up in the air and turned my face to meet the huge freezing drops. I jumped in a few puddles on the way to the car. It was extremely exhilirating to feel that free for a moment. When I reached the car, the downpour abruptly ceased. As I drove off soaked to the bone and rocking out to the ipod, all the timid little folks in the lobby came cautiously out looking up in wonder.

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