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LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: That wearisome rain also can revive

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By Terri Likens, Editor

The original point of this column was to complain — bitterly, I might add — about the recent rains.

The rain that flooded my basement early last week.

The rain that poured down in buckets near Chattanooga where I spent an otherwise fun weekend.

And Wednesday, what did we get?

Here’s my checklist: more dreariness, more cold, more flood advisories — more rain. By quitting time, my sorry, soggy soul was saturated.

A break in the showers shortly before dusk allowed me to get the yahoos (my ornery dogs) out for a much-needed walk.

Naturally, it started misty-raining about a third of the way through.

I tugged up my hood and trudged on, expecting to wallow in my misery.

It didn’t work that way.

As I walked on and the dogs sniffed the ground, I began to notice a fresh, clean scent in the air.

Overhead, in the early evening mist, mourning doves were active and calling.

As exertion took the chill from my body, I realized that just moving through and breathing in the moist, cool air felt good.

My spirits lifted, even if the clouds did not.

As I walked, I remembered how, during my college years, I used to lace up my best running shoes and relish bounding six or seven miles around campus in a misty rain like this.

I remembered that on one of those runs, after getting my feelings hurt by someone now long forgotten, I was grateful that my tears and the rain running down my face were indiscernable.

I remembered how I used to love a rain like this during the decade I lived in Chicago — especially if it lasted until nightfall.

The rain not only cleaned the grit from air, but it also created an Impressionist’s pallette of color as it reflected, warped and magnified every car light, street light, stop light, store sign and glowing window.

I remember how rare and delicate a rain like this was in the high desert of Arizona, where I also spent a few years.

And so, in the 20 minutes or so it took me to complete my stroll, my attitude reset itself.

My day felt more productive and by the time I reached the house, I felt energized — not beaten down.

In England, the center of misty-rain universe, there once lived a writer named Gilbert K. Chesterson. Yesterday, after my walk, I couldn’t have agreed more with Chesterson on one point.

“When it rains on your parade,” he observed, “look up, rather than down.”