“It’s raining,” she muttered. It was all she said tonight, but the tone of her voice told everything else: her sadness, her longing, her disappointment, her confusion. She merely glanced outside the window, as one would out of habit, then back to her computer, resuming work. That deadness in her eyes, its soul and joy stolen, trapped elsewhere but here.
I fought the urge to open to windows, let the telltale scent of the rain mix with and pollute our stale office air. I watched as the raindrops fall on both the living and the moving, all men and women equal under the mercy of the rain except for those blessed with the dignified protection of an umbrella.
Once, I would have ran into the ran, dignity be damned, and laugh my heart out, swallow a few drops, and just enjoy being soaked until the cold shiver fades into sheer numbness. Once, I would have jumped on the puddles, made paper boats to race on the raging torrents beside the sidewalk and unto the drain, come up with random stories out of the countless ripples and splatters as each droplet kisses the ground.
“Yeah,” I half-heartedly agreed, and wondered what it would be like to be a kid, loving the rain, felt like once again.
Old wives tales gave way to science, as medical explanations replaced superstitious beliefs. What once was a source of excitement and fun, was now regarded with caution, even concern. A generation taught to look at dark skies with disdain. What once was a blessing is now demoted to mere commodity, a convenience. If it doesn’t serve us, it’s not welcome. Come the long summers, we eagerly await it to comfort us. Come the long rainy season, we curse it.
Rain, rain go away
Come again another day…
I didn’t notice when she left. Did she have an umbrella? Not that I cared. I studied my folding umbrella, an object that used to be foreign to my bag. As a child, I didn’t care if my books and notebooks get soaked to the binding. Now, even a light spray would make me cringe, ever careful not to get my electronic gadgets wet. I stared again at the rain, its pattern beyond the limits of my observation or calculation. Would man really master the rain someday— to bend it over to our will? I think not. How can we ever dictate how each raindrop should fall? And even if we do, the only beauty it will retain is the tamed diligence of man-made sprinkler systems.
Rain, rain— where do you stay
When your tears are dried for today?
I gave the skies one last look. In the edge of my sight, a flash— then the rumble came, a sound more anguish than anger, more groaning than complaint. And I wonder if the skies did take our careless words more sensitively, if the heavens bore its grudges for the tactless things we say, if the clouds remember us well— all the memories it shared with us…
Rain, rain— thanks for today;
Come again another day.
And I found myself raining, just another dark cloud drifting on the way home. A heart soaked in teardrops, but maybe that’s what it just needed to be cleansed again.