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Appreciate wonders of nature

Some things you take for granted. We're all guilty of it.

You get used to something, figure it'll be around forever and tire of it because of that reason. Then, when it stops, you wish you had what you no longer do. Happens all the time.

For me, it was beaches and the ocean. I went to college in Miami, where a trip to the Atlantic was 15 minutes tops. It was really neat at first, but during my four years in school the trips became less and less frequent.

When I could go to the beach any day at pretty much anytime, it became routine. So I found other things to do and only hit the ocean on occasion.

Then I moved back to Atlanta, and the lack of beachfront property made me long for those days in the sun and surf. Now, instead of a trip to the ocean being a hop, skip and a jump, it's a hassle. With that the case, naturally there's more of an allure now.

I understand the role human nature plays in this, but I didn't think about it affecting Mother Nature as well. But this weekend reminded me of one of life's pleasures, one that the drought we've gone through had made me forget.

Is there anything better than sitting on a covered patio or screened-in porch and watching it rain? What a peaceful and pleasurable experience. I know there's nothing earth-shattering in that statement, but think of a time - this weekend or before - when you just sat and watched it rain and let me know if you'd be willing to pay to feel that serenity on demand.

Any recent visitors would laugh at the talk of a drought, what with all the rainfall we've had lately. But it wasn't that long ago that rain was to pray for, not watch. And like the beach, you go long enough without it and you forget how enjoyable it can be.

"The best things in life are free" the song goes, and this rediscovered enjoyment fits that description and my budget. Sitting there watching it rain on Monday evening I had to ask myself: Any other simple pleasures I'm forgetting?

A nice summer shower brings out that type of reflective thinking. I'm thankful the end of the drought has us back to regularly experiencing them again, giving us a chance to relax and reflect.

And if it keeps me from other chores I should be doing, well, as another song goes, "blame it on the rain."

E-mail Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.