The last song on the EP might be the most special to me. Of course, all the songs are special and release different feelings, but "Raindance"--I wrote this one because I needed it.
You see, ever since childhood I have hated the rain. It always meant we couldn't go outside, because Mom didn't want us to get all dirty and such. Everything was darker and moodier and nastier. Adults were never as happy on rainy days. Plus, I hated the feeling of my clothes getting wet; it felt wrong and made me supremely squirmy. The sensation of countless water pellets hitting me from above felt like I was engaged in a water balloon fight that I had no hope of winning. And I liked to win.
So I developed this construct in my head that rain was akin to losing, and feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression became associated with it. Even now that I've tempered my competitive streak, my brain always slows down and seems to weep on rainy days.
Of course, movies didn't help this idea at all. Rain is most often associated with horribly depressing scenes--funerals, break-ups, car accidents, etc. When it starts raining, most movies take the plot line on a dark turn.
However some do not. Like Singin in the Rain. I was obsessed with this movie when I was growing up, and it always baffled me. How can this guy feel so happy as to dance in the rain--isn't it supposed to be sad and depressing? It fascinated me and I longed to be able to enjoy the rain like this. I wanted to go out and twirl an umbrella, having no care about my clothes getting wet or feeling uncomfortable. I wanted to be as free as Gene Kelly (if you haven't scene the scene, watch it here!) My little sister is this way. On one of the days it was raining super hard during our childhood, she spotted a large gush of water pouring out of the gutter. Naturally, she thought it best to head over there and get soaked head to toe right before we were supposed to leave for church. Mom was furious, I thought it was hilarious, and Ayla was proud of her maturity, claiming she'd taken a "shower." Lol.
I longed for that freedom, but still couldn't stand the actual feelings rain entailed for me. Finally after almost twenty-one years of this paradox, I decided to write a song about it--as you do ;) I wanted to encourage myself to cherish the uncomfortable moments of a rainstorm. Instead of squirming and wanting to run inside, I wanted to feel freedom and joy no matter what's societally appropriate, just like my sister had so many years ago. In fact, the girl I describe in the lyrics "Can you see her as she dances in the rain? No matter what she dances anyway. Everyone says she's crazy 'cause they can't hear the rhythm and beat. Storm clouds came. She took her place in the rain" was patterned after my sister. I don't know if she knows that.
After I had the chorus to the song, I stepped back and realized that this message wasn't just addressing my specific situation. This song was for anyone in the midst of what they would call a "rainstorm." Break-ups, furloughs, anxiety, depression, loneliness, death of a loved one, hopelessness, a pandemic (!) all could be described as incessant rainstorms. Being in them is extremely uncomfortable and deemed "uncool" by our societal standards. But we can't just skip or "cancel" these things--they are a natural part of our existence. What if, instead of trying to avoid the rainstorms altogether, we decided to dance in them--expressing ourselves through our ACTIONS and not letting the rainstorms displace us? For me, this means even if I have a super killer migraine, I make sure to smile at every person I come across, and I smile even when there's no one around. Smiling just makes me happy. What would that look like for you?
Ultimately, the message of this song and the entire EP is that in the end, there is joy available to us, if we choose to accept it. No matter where we find ourselves in life, God meets us where we are and is able to put smiles on our faces. That's what he's done for me. I smile and cherish moments in the rain now, because I know that he has overcome the world, including anything I might be struggling with. He has won and He is on my team.
Maybe I am still a bit competitive ;)
Listen to "Raindance" NOW on Spotify!!!!