Natalia Temesgen

Is all this rain in the Columbus area forcing us to slow down?

Natalia Naman Temesgen
Natalia Naman Temesgen Mike Haskey

What a rainy week we have had! My grass and flowers are extremely grateful I’m sure, but I’m ready for sunny days again.

The rain has caused me to slow my usual harried pace and has made my daughter’s swimming lessons especially wet. One of the monsoon-like episodes over last weekend was the major contributor to substantial damage to my car. Nobody was hurt, thankfully, but comprehensive insurance coverage is coming in very handy at the moment.

When nature subjects us to its exceptional power, be it through some natural disaster or simply a very rainy week, we feel with a degree of awe and certainty that we are quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things. This weather doesn’t take stock of our socioeconomic status, what neighborhood we live in, or what social clubs we belong to. The rain has bigger things to accomplish than stroking the human ego. A weatherman can tell you that right after his forecast is turned upside down.

We as a nation have become extremely skilled at screaming down into the valleys that separate us. We hurt and wrong each other, often for those differences. Race, status, gender, political affiliation, creed or lack thereof, and sexual orientation are our preferred categories to use when deciding who to draw close and push away. History, baggage and media publications are our sources of justification for that pushing and pulling. We get in a self-righteous groove and have no problem digging those dividing lines even deeper with our words and our actions.

And then comes the rain, cleansing the earth and making us equal. Forcing us all to slow down. Entreating us to be more cautious and grateful. Seeping into the shoes of CEOs and the homeless alike. Reminding us that there are forces much greater than our skilled ability to fight with one another. There are forces that can level us with a moment’s notice, compelling us to locate our capacity for compassion and humility.

So I am eager for the sun’s return. I’m eager for my life to take up the level of importance and space that it has grown accustomed to again. I’m ready to have the room to rush around and forget my small place in the big picture. But until then, I am also taking my time with this unrelenting rain. There is a lesson in it that deserves to be learned.

Natalia Naman Temesgen is an independent contractor. Contact her at