Don’t get me wrong: I love summers as much as everyone else – and share its angst as much as others do.
But rainy days hold so many memories for me, some of which I am grateful to still remember. And it also holds so much meaning to me, probably a by products of all those sweet, melancholic collective of introspective moments I spent out in the rain.
- I remember someone (not sure if it was my mom, my aunts, or my siblings) who told me that it was a rainy Thursday night when I was born. Hmm, Freudian or Jungian?
- Among my happiest childhood memories were rainy days where I and my siblings would go out in the rain and play. They would dare to go up the roof (via a slippery wall which I was too young and scared to climb) and go wild there while I resign myself to enjoy in safety the rivulets from the roof gutters (we had to make sure the rain had washed off the dirt AND unmentionables off the roof first, though). In several occasions, we had the privilege and opportunity to bond with the neighborhood kids under a really heavy downpour. Some would chase and catch frogs then chase girls with it; we would create water forts, ports and boats using whatever material was around; or simply have a game of tag.
- Whenever it rained hard, my alma mater – University of Nueva Caceres – would easily get flooded (which was why a lot of students refer to our campus as “the swamp”). And yes, I recall one incident in elementary where we played a game of tag and I slipped big time on the wet grass – and got sent home to clean up.
- In the last year of my elementary education, I was taught a harsh lesson when we experienced our first city-wide flood (we lived near the Bicol River in Penafrancia Avenue, so the flood waters reached to almost 3 feet). We lost our family photo albums, and I only realized how important they were as I grew up and our family slowly drifted apart physically and emotionally.
- High school rainy memories were a jumble of romance, sentimentality, melancholy, and depression. It was four long bittersweet years where I would hide behind a tree under the rain just to “stalk” my crush; where some students were calling me ‘papansin’ (yea, in a way, I guess I was) because I would often casually walk in the rain while everyone else huddled and hurried in raincoats and umbrellas – simply because I enjoyed the cool, refreshing feeling of the raindrops, and how it made me forget about my own personal problems at home; where I would practiced (and failed) to master the art of ninja-dash on wet puddles (I was trying to find a perfect running technique where my school uniform would not get the up-splashes from my shoes, like what happens with bikes).
- Rainy days have always been a source of inspiration to me: for ideas, for thinking, for writing, for crying, for laughing, for just being… me.
- It was during college that I first felt totally helpless and alone when I was forced to take refuge during another city-wide flood. I was living alone then, unable to contact my relatives (because mobile phones and wifi did not exist yet), and almost without resources. Technically, it was a storm – but this was one of my life’s major turning points because it was the time I really had time to reflect and pray to God.
It’s been 31 years since that rainy Thursday night when the last child was born to my parents. And though lightnings still flash and thunders continue to roll within this rain-drenched soul of mine, I confidently and casually walk under time’s relentless raindrops – smiling at the heavens despite a vision blurred by teardrops, not because of silver linings or golden opportunities – but simply because I love how beautiful God made the rain.