Day 4 // 365 Days of Gratitude

Today I am grateful for rain.

Living in a dry climate has given me a new appreciation for rain. When I lived in Hong Kong, I dreaded wet, rainy days and only looked forward to seeing the sun. It wasn’t until I moved to Beijing, where months can go by without any precipitation, that I realized how beautiful it is for water to fall out of the sky. On nights when thunder and lightning graced the city, I would open my window just to listen to the sound of rain and thunder. A sound so comforting in its ability to make me feel less alone in the universe. I took it as nature’s call to us, a reminder that nature is there, and that its power is truly almighty.

Smoggy season is fastly approaching. In the last couple weeks, I’ve noticed fewer days with clear blue skies and more with haze blanketing the skyline. It goes without saying that pollution in Beijing, and many parts of China, is notoriously bad. So how do we move beyond that as people, and as privileged people, living in this city?

When I lived here in high school, I used to complain so much about the poor air quality. I needed more excuses to hate living here, so I latched onto the pollution. I would wake up, see the smog, and instantly decide that today would be a bad day. Honestly, I just made it worse for myself. This time around, I haven’t even bothered to download an app to monitor the air quality index. If it’s polluted, I can tell with my eyes, and I don’t need numbers to make me feel even worse. I’m just going to accept that today is a smoggy day and let myself move on from that. The air quality isn’t going to get better just because my mood has been ruined.

This time around, I haven’t even bothered to download an app to monitor the air quality index. If it’s polluted, I can tell with my eyes, and I don’t need numbers to make me feel even worse. I’m just going to accept that today is a smoggy day and let myself move on from that. My worsened mood won’t improve the air quality so I might as well keep myself feeling positive by focusing on all the other positive things in my day.

Today, heavy rain brushed away some of the smog. I didn’t need to check an air quality monitor to know that something in the air had changed. Just by breathing outside, I sensed a crispness in the air that is usually absent when the smog is heavy. So I just appreciated the rain and the air, and the harmonious interplay of these two elements, and avoiding brewing up all that negativity inside.

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Author: claireishuman

a young adult living between hong kong, beijing, london and boston

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