An old woman lived in a small city with her dog named Mushi. In the early morning hours, as the sun was rising, she and Mushi walked to the park to witness the birth of a new day. Every evening, they waited in the park to watch the sunset and witness the end of each day. Every morning and every evening were the same.
One day, it started out to be beautiful and sunny, but by mid-afternoon, it was cloudy. “How strange, the weather reporter didn’t predict rain today,” she said aloud. “But it’s springtime and I am certain the park will be busy today. Perhaps we should go for a walk through the city instead,” she said. Rather than taking Mushi to their customary park to play and watch the sunset, they would walk through the city instead.
They quietly began their walk along the windy streets and ascended to the top of a hill that overlooked the park. Just then, it started pouring rain. The rain came so suddenly that it surprised them. Neither the old woman nor the dog knew what to do. The rain was unrelenting, and the visibility was very low.
She noticed there were people anxiously running for shelter under trees, storefront awnings, and into houses and nearby buildings. Men held bags or briefcases over their heads to keep from getting their faces wet as they trampled through the rain. Women clung tightly to their umbrellas and tiptoed through the rain to keep their dresses dry. Everyone was franticly going from one place to another. Busses stopped and allowed the wet and frantic passengers to board. Even the drivers in the cars seemed in a rush. Before long, the old woman and her dog were the only two standing on the empty street.
For a moment, she thought it wise to seek shelter. “Shall we hurry to find shelter? Shall we find someplace dry and wait for the storm to pass?” she wondered. “What about Mushi? Surely, he is cold and equally eager to find shelter,” she said aloud. But when the old woman looked down at Mushi, he was dripping wet from head to tail. When Mushi noticed her looking at him, he yelped with excitement and wagged his tail with joy and began pouncing in the rain. Only then did she notice her own clothes were soaking wet. Rain poured off the sleeves of her sweater onto her sopping wet shoes. She looked down at her furry friend dripping wet and her sopping wet shoes, and laughed. She laughed so hard and aloud that those who rushed by her thought she had gone mad standing out in the rain.
At last, she looked at her furry wet friend and said, “There is no point in hurrying to find shelter if we are already wet. A little more time in the rain wouldn’t change our situation,” she bellowed aloud. “Come on!” she exclaimed. “Let’s go to the park to play instead. It looks like it is just you and me today. You will have plenty of room to run around!”
In life, it is never sunny all the time. Sometimes it is cloudy, sometimes it rains and sometimes it pours. This is the way of life – Learn to laugh instead of cry.
The art of living begins when we understand there are circumstances we cannot control. There is no partiality toward suffering and we all have storms we must endure. However, the art of living well is laughing at the circumstances we can’t change. It is up to us to believe the storms are opportunities for blessings. The art of living isn’t about staying dry when the storms come, but laughing because the storms came and you’re in it.
~ T. Ivri