The pub was packed, patrons spilling out into the square off Geary Street, and it was raining. Not the normal drizzly rain that is typical of Ireland in the spring, but solid raindrops that splatter when they hit the sidewalk. I can hardly remember the pub name, or who was with us, but I do remember we danced. The music was barely heard over the rumble of the people milling about, we were on a crowded street, the rain pelting our faces, and we danced. Oh, how we danced. I was with a new friend I had just met, rather my parents forced an introduction, and we had just come back from the Aran Island of Inishmore off the coast of Galway. We were parting ways in the morning, this being our only night together in the big city of Dublin. We started off with a big group, pub crawling, but somehow we lost our group in the mess of people and crowds, finally deciding to abandon the pub crawl idea. Instead, we started dancing, the kind of dancing where you put your arms out and spin around and around and around. You twirl and dip and kiss and hug and kick your feet up and above all, laugh. The exhilaration from dancing in the rain, under the stars, in a foreign place was the purest sense of freedom I’ve ever had.
I have always been overly cautious. I look before I barely jump. I guard my heart, worry about what others think, and am always, practical, diligent and sensible. But, for some reason, this particular weekend, I did not care: I leaped, and danced, and laughed like a complete fool, and I felt free. Of course, in the end I did get hurt, but that one night when I let my heart open and danced in the rain, feeling each drop tickle my skin, running down my face, splashing in the puddles, and not caring what anybody else saw.
Now, rainy days remind me of that perfect freeing moment. That one moment when I wore my emotions on my sleeve, threw caution to the wind, and felt every rain drop.
These days, my life is practical and sensible. I guess that’s what happens when you live with a nearly 10-month old, and hold down two part-time jobs. And while my girl is a happy baby, I see glimpses of her personality emerging. She seems to be careful, always calculating her next move: not pulling herself up unless she has a surefire way to sit back down. While, this can be an admirable trait, I want her to be able to throw caution to the wind as well, leap, and take chances. After all, those can often bring us the greatest life lessons or perfect moments. So yesterday, in the pouring rain, I opened the windows, turned on iTunes, and donning our goulashes and raincoats, laughing and singing, we just let go. And on our driveway we danced anyways.