It’s a funny thing, spontaneity. Some people never experience it, and for some reason never want to. Others, like me, embrace it.
My first memory of spontaneity was in the 3rd grade. I distinctly remember taking a test one day and, of course, the first thing my teacher said – as she always did – “Don’t forget to write your name on your paper.” But something happened this day. Something called…spontaneity. At the very instant I was to enter my name, I simply decided I wanted to be called by another name. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my name – I always have. But on this particular day, I wanted it to be…George Clooney! That’s right – George Clooney. I said to myself, “I think this name can take me places!” In the memory of Ferris Bueller, I shall never forget my teacher standing in front of the class calling off the names of each student to pick up their graded test. When she came to mine, she hesitated for a moment and then continued, “Clooney…Clooney…Clooney!” Needless to say, that name did nothing for me! I’m so glad I didn’t stick with it. I feel sorry for the guy who really has that name. (OK I admit I didn’t use the name George Clooney, but the rest of the story is true – I just don’t remember what name I used that day.)
As time went by I continued to live my life with an element of spontaneity.
Now, here comes the twist. I’m also a person of meticulous detail. That’s right, I’m a planner. In fact, my organizational skills are off the charts! These two characteristics seem to be rarely combined. But if you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense. If you were spontaneous all the time, it would no doubt lead to irresponsibility. On the other hand if you were organized all the time, well it would have to result in absolute boredom.
So from time to time, I get spontaneous. Like…
The time I came home one day from work and said to my wife, “Pack your bags, we’re flying to Philadelphia in the morning to see a basketball game.” The airline tickets were waiting at the airport and the basketball tickets were waiting at the arena. We lived in Iowa at the time.
Or, the time we spent 3 days driving to California to spend 1 day at the beach. And then spent 3 more days driving back home. Again, we lived in Iowa at the time.
Or, the time we drove from Southern California to Iowa to surprise my mother on Christmas Eve, nearly giving her a heart attack when she answered her doorbell that night.
Or, the time we drove 6 hours to San Francisco only to have dinner and then spend 6 hours driving back home.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. So, I’ll fast forward to the last time.
Living in Southern California, you just know you’re not going to see rain from April to November. Like the song says, “It Never Rains in Southern California” during that time. But, on this day something was different. Waking up and looking outside provided quite a different view from what is normal. In the skies over the mountains, there was a cloud. Oh it was small right now, but you had to hope there might be something to it. Could this cloud be different.
There was only one way to know for sure. I had to travel to the other side of the mountain range where the cloud was building. You have to understand, I’ve really come to love it when it rains here! Sometimes, I think the perfect rainy day would be spent eating chili at Ruby’s Diner at the end of the Huntington Beach Pier. So, it seemed like the logical thing to do. I mean, I hadn’t seen any precipitation in more than six months. The closest thing we get to rain is the lawn sprinklers coming on!
Once on the other side, I could see this was going to be a promising venture!
Isn’t this an interesting shot below? It was as if the storm was attacking the blue sky from every side, leaving only a fast closing vortex of beauty. It was growing darker by the moment as the storm swallowed the clear skies.
And then everything changed as the heavens released what had not been seen for months. The beauty of rain.
Now, I’m not saying everyone should abandon their responsibilities and start chasing storms. But, a little spontaneity can be good for the soul. You should give it a try. Do something different – something you haven’t planned to do!
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you tomorrow.