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 “Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain.” – Billie Holiday

Just because there are storm clouds overhead doesn't mean one can't find beauty below. Photo of Antelope Island by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

When one sleeps with their head just a couple of feet below the roof, and that roof is only about three inches thick, rain becomes a very personal thing.

Billie Holiday at two years old in 1917. -- Wikipedia photo

That’s how it felt last night when the sky above me continuously dumped its blessings on Texas’ water-starved landscape. The ping, ping, pinging, while interrupting my sleep, still sounded delightful to my ears.

The rain was still on my mind when I set down to write this blog, and so it seemed logical to write about it. When I went searching for a quote to accompany it, the one above by Billie Holiday stopped me cold. Perhaps it was because the rain was still coming down outside and I knew I would probably be walking my canine traveling companion, Maggie, in the rain this day.

The quote, however, also led me on one of those Internet explorations that I frequently take these days in search of information. I already knew Billie Holiday was a singer who set the blues and jazz worlds on fire with her music while scandalizing the world at the same time with her behavior. But I wanted to know more.

Billie Holiday was a dog lover, too. And her dog's name was Mister. -- Wikipedia photo

I found it, and it touched me. Reading about the life of this Black woman, who was raped as a child and spit on because of her color, brought the rain to my eyes. No wonder, I thought, had “God Bless the Child,” Billie’s most popular recording, been so powerful. She had to have sung it with all the emotions of an abused child’s heart.

And yet, if we are to believe her words, she could still feel the joy of simply walking in the rain.

How can I, whose life these days feels powerfully blessed, treat a walk in the rain as anything other than a delightful treat?

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