Did I ever tell you why I like the rain?
The reason comes from a memory I have from when I was a small boy. The Old Man was in the backyard trying to build a shed. It was the kind of day when I could tell The Old Man had something on his mind. He was quiet in times like this. His eyebrows crunched downward and his head pushed forward.
Time was a big deal to The Old Man because he never felt as if he had enough of it to get things done. If he wasn’t working for a living, The Old Man was working on a project at home.
But if The Old Man felt old or helpless, if there was something out of his control or if The Old Man felt weak in some way; if something hurt him and The Old Man felt vulnerable, he would take on a job around the house and often, The Old Man would bite off more than he could chew.
I remember the day he was building a shed in the backyard. This was one of those days when The Old Man felt weak. It was one of those days when The Old Man took on more than he could handle. It was clear that he was frustrated. It was obvious that something weighed heavy upon him. But me, I was just a little boy. I was too young to understand and too young to inquire.
The Old Man placed the foundation for the shed in the rear corner. He set out the parts and pieces that needed to be assembled. At first, the sky must have been clear but the gray clouds changed quickly, which meant The Old Man had to work quickly to do as much as he could before the rain hit,
I watched him through the window. I couldn’t have been much older than 5 or 6 at the time. He moved quickly but the storm came in quicker than The Old Man expected.
It started like any flash storm. One droplet fell. Then two drops fell and then three and four. The Old Man came inside just as the sky opened up. It was pouring like I had never seen before.
I recall The Old Man staring out through the doorway to the backyard. He seemed so angry. He was so frustrated.
And when the rain fell, it fell heavy. And when The Old Man looked out through the screen door, his facial expression seemed as heavy as the rain.
I’m not sure what happened and The Old Man didn’t say. I’m not sure where his next idea came from but to me and my young eyes, the idea was brilliant.
The Old Man stepped away from the doorway and ran up to get his bathing suit. Then he went into the bathroom, grabbed a bar of soap and a bottle of shampoo.
Then The Old Man walked out into the backyard with the rain falling down. He stood in our humble, suburban backyard, face upwards towards the rainy heavens, and washing himself with the bar of soap and then shampooing his hair while allowing the heavy rain to rinse him off.
This didn’t take long. The shower was quick and when The Old Man was finished, he came in to towel and dry himself.
His hair had already turned gray. In fact, I cannot remember a time when The Old Man’s hair was not salt and peppered with black and gray. He had so much on his plate and only so much time to figure out a solution.
But the rain helped. At least, it did on this day. The Old Man just let the rain wash it all away.
He said something about this too.
“Sometimes, you just have to wash it all off,” said The Old Man.
Suddenly, the intensity of his expression relaxed. He went inside and didn’t work on anything else for the rest of the day. I suppose this was The Old Man’s permission to surrender. To him, I suppose the rain washing him clean was enough for The Old Man to understand it was time to relax.
There are times when the world at best is unkind and cruel. Life happens whether we agree or not. There are times when we just want to step out of ourselves. There are moments when life makes us so crazy that we just want to scream. And it can be monstrous. It can be painful. It can be frustrating and unfair. At our worst, life can seem pointless. Nothing works and nothing makes sense.
There are times when the weight of everything weighs upon us like an anchor and try as we might, we just can’t seem to set ourselves free.
This is why I love the rain . . .
I think of a hot summer day when the tension in the city is high. The pedestrians on the sidewalk are rude at best. Everyone pushes and shoves. The taxi cabs scream down Lexington like crazy Kamikaze drivers.
The humidity is so intense and the city is angry and insane. But somehow, Mother Nature understands this. And when the intensity grows too much and the humidity is at %100, just like that, a flash storm comes along to wash away the madness and settle the debris in our crazy little life.
This is enough to give us permission to surrender.
It’s enough to let us reset and settle down.
The true fact of life is that the only thing that keeps us going is a sense of purpose. We need to have a sense of future. We need to be inspired but sometimes, I find the world can be a distracting place.
I see it the same way I see the summer storm. The heat is too much. The humidity is too intense and the world is %1 away from complete and total destruction. Somehow, Mother Nature comes along to cleanse us from our debris
I truly believe this
This is why I don’t mind when it rains. The way I see it is Mother Nature is reminding me that sometimes we just need to wash it all off and start over.