August 20, 2011: Stephanie Florence

When’s the last time you stopped to listen to the rain? Not swear at it for ruining your day. Not run for cover to avoid it all costs. But really stop and listen. I’ll admit I don’t know that I ever have.

We go out of our way to avoid the Chicago weather that we’ll unfortunately never escape. We tell ourselves this was just a hot summer or next winter won’t be so cold. But really – it’ll be just as bad as we thought.

Life’s busy. Between managing work, family, friends and other obligations there isn’t room for rain, let alone the time to enjoy it.

This morning I thought I would be battling for space on my apartment roof deck, but instead our Chicago weather had another plan for the Chicago Air and Water Show. From a girl who wanted to be an airplane growing up, this is a pretty great weekend. (And no, I didn’t want to be the pilot or someone who works on the plane, but the actual airplane. Hats off to Mom and Dad for telling me to dream big, right?)

When Mother Nature finally got it in check, I made my way to the lakefront with two million of my closest friends. From watching the faces of adults who have seen this show many times to hearing the squeals of children experiencing the show for the first time, I enjoyed stepping into the role of spectator along with them.

I took photos and attempted video, but found a Flip Cam wasn’t quite able to capture the massive stage on which today’s show took place. I can tell you everything that happened during the show, but those who have experienced know you won’t fully “get it” until you witness it firsthand.

Even after a sunny day, it’s the start to today that remains with me: the time I spent listening to the rain, a sound I will be more aware of moving forward.

I’m sure there were plenty of soaked attendees who wished the sound of the rain away, but I’m one who believes we need to enjoy the rain in order to take in what’s on the other side.

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About the author: Stephanie is a PR professional who would love to make a friend with a boat. You can find her on Twitter as @StephanieFlo and jumping in as next month’s editor for the3six5.

Filed under: August 2011

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