Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Saying...

The voice on the other end of the phone was familiar and cheerful.

It was Stan, my husband's best friend from high school. Although we have never met in person, I had heard about Stan for years: how Stan, a star athlete and leading member of the school's popular crowd, befriended Bob when he came to the school as a shy and uncertain new junior; how Stan helped him to get a memorable summer job at a camp for blind children where they both worked during college; how Stan offered him shelter and support when Bob's father threw him out of the house because he was working at the camp instead of at a higher paying summer job.

Wellington Stanislaus (Stan), star athlete

In the busy times of young adulthood after college, they lost touch with each other for many years, happily reuniting via Facebook when both were over 65. Now they call each other several times a week -- Stan from his home in Central California or Bob from our home in Arizona.

Bob has offered support during Stan's recent orthopedic surgeries and Stan has offered his unfailing optimism to Bob who battles cyclical depressions.

"Just a minute!" I told Stan. "Bob is right here."

"Wait!" Stan cried. "I was calling you. I heard a saying the other day that really meant a lot to me and I think you'd like it, too."

"Oh," I said, a little surprised. "What is it?"

"Those who expect happiness only from sunshine have never danced in the rain."

I smiled at the saying. Stan was right. I was intrigued.

It seemed to me to be about the possibility of finding joy in all seasons -- all seasons of the year, all the seasons of one's life.

It seemed to be about the joy and the pain that are part of all our lives and how our bittersweet experiences give us greater hope in the dark times and greater appreciation for the sunshine in our lives.

It seemed to be about finding joy amidst sorrow, those moments of levity that make us stronger for the next wave of pain.

It seemed to be about re-discovering hope and happiness after a painful life transition.

It seemed to be about experiencing life fully and joyfully every day of our lives.

I thought about the ebb and flow of happiness in my own life -- of times when happiness was an elusive major expectation and of times when it caught me by surprise.

I thought about what I knew of Stan's life experiences -- the career challenges, the devastating losses, the disappointments, the dreams that didn't come true -- and I suddenly understood much better this spirit suffused with joy, even when days are dark and the forecast is unrelentingly stormy.

This is a man who knows all about dancing in the rain.


  1. This is so terrifically wise. And it's true. Those who can still find joy in trying circumstances know the true value of it. What a great friendship, too!

  2. Mirrors an aphorism of mine, i.e., Joy we must look for, misery will find us.

  3. So true. I wouldn't be as happy in the good times if I did not experience the bad times. They have given me a real appreciation for the mundane, the everyday, and the taken-for-granted. Great post. I wish Stan and your husband well with their challenges.

  4. Wonderful saying....AND---it's so true. It's all about attitude... On our recent trip, we had hoped to see a specific waterfall --but when we got there, the entire area was fogged in... SO---we went to another plan and had a wonderful day... AND--we got to see that waterfall the next day... We need to live by the 'glass being half full--not half empty' in our lives... That will bring true happiness whether it's sunny or cloudy in our lives.

  5. Ohhhh! What a beautiful story; one for all seasons. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. What an absolutely wonderful expression! I'm going to write that one down and keep it at hand for trying times. Stan sounds like a pretty wonderful man -- I applaud him for his outlook -- and you for sharing it!

  7. I agree with Rosaria. Without the rain the flowers don't grow.

  8. I love, love, loved this! Seasons. Stan knows the truth. We were not promised all sunshine and roses. There is beauty and joy to be gained from those dark times and bleak seasons.

  9. When the weather gets warm enough in central Virginia, and the rain showers come, maybe I'll dance in it... or at least take a walk in my bare feet without an umbrella. It will be a good reminder of Stan's attitude - a good one at that.

    Very good thoughts in a very good post.

  10. How true. Losing a child for us was the greatest rainy day and season. At Christmas at that. Still life goes and we look for and find smiles wherever we can...:)

  11. Dear Kathy, Stan sounds like such a dear man. Sweet. Peace.

  12. Dancing in the rain, now there’s a thought to banish the blues.
    I shall have to remember it and hold it close when those rainclouds threaten to overwhelm me.

  13. Hi Kathy, I'm new to your blog, and this is the first post I've read so far. It's a lovely find and I'm looking forward to catching up with you again.

    All the best x

  14. Oh I love this about dancing in the rain!!

  15. What a great saying, Kathy, and so very true. Joy and sorrow are intermingled throughout life and it's a wise person who knows that and lives by it.