(I use this story as a metaphor)
I have always had a feeling for Sundays . . .
Early morning, Sunday is quiet. Aside from the religious observance and aside from the fact that Sunday is seen as a day of rest; Sunday is the last day of the weekend.
With Monday to follow, Sunday only seemed like half a day. With Monday on its way, Sunday always seemed to be cut in half. Half of Sunday was a day of rest and the other half was spent preparing and wondering about the Monday to come.
When I was a young boy at the age of five or maybe six, I watched The Old Man doing yard work in the backyard of our home. The sky changed from light to dark gray. The tension from the humidity was thick. I could tell there was something on his mind.
With the oncoming storm, The Old Man grew frustrated. As thunder began to growl, The Old Man’s eyebrows folded downward. There was a crinkled wrinkle between his eyebrows, which was a clear sign of his contempt. He threw his tools to the side and came back into the house.
I stood in the kitchen and watched The Old Man stare through storm door.
I was too young to ask, but I was old enough to know something weighed on his mind.
The Old Man stared through the door to watch the rain begin.
“The sky is going to open up any minute,” he said.
I suppose the thick clouds and the oncoming thunder was equal to The Old Man’s feelings. I suppose he was tired. I suppose he had something planned. Maybe he was angry. Maybe The Old Man wanted to leave or run away.
Maybe he just wanted the tension to break.
He watched the sky darken. He stood quietly at the doorway—listening to the rumble of thunder. Slowly, the storm progressed.
Although I was young, I studied The Old Man.
I knew something was on his mind.
When the rain came, the droplets fell from the sky, quick and heavy. This sort of rain is the kind that splatters against the ground. You can hear the thick raindrops pelting against the leaves in the trees. It was a summer storm. The heat was overwhelming, and like a sign of divine intervention, the storm came to break the humidity.
As the rain fell hard and fast, The Old Man turned to me and asked, “You want to see something?”
“Wait here,” he told me.
Then The Old Man walked away. He returned moments later in a blue bathing suit. The Old Man also carried with him a bottle of shampoo, which he grabbed from the shower in the downstairs bathroom.
“Watch this,” said The Old Man.
The Old Man stepped out into the backyard. He walked down the red bricked steps and took a few paces onto the grass in the yard. I watched as The Old Man looked up to the heavens. He exhaled as if he was trying to rid himself of something.
Running hands through his salt and pepper hair, The Old Man took on the quickly falling raindrops. He washed himself; cupping his hands to catch the rain—then he splashed the rainwater on his face.
The Old Man reached down and picked up the clear bottle of baby shampoo. He opened the top and poured out the golden colored shampoo into the palm of his hand. Next, The Old Man lathered up. He soaped his body until he felt clean. After, The Old Man allowed the rain to wash it all away.
When The Old Man came to the door, I handed him the towel he left for himself on the kitchen counter. The Old Man took the towel and thanked me. He rapidly shook the towel through his hair and dried himself off.
Afterwards, The Old Man didn’t seem as heavyhearted. He seemed relieved, as if the storm did more than break the humidity. To The Old Man, the rains were sent to cleanse the earth.
“It was so hot outside,” said The Old Man
“The humidity was so that you couldn’t even breathe.”
Not long after, the rain let up.
The storm was gone and the thunder stopped.
The day was Sunday . . .
Life comes with heavy times.
Sometimes the heat and madness stir.
In which case, we need something to come along and break the humidity.
We need something to settle the thunder and ease the tension.
Sometimes, we need something to cleanse us . . .
so we can breathe.