I woke up this morning to a pale sky, and a slight smile spread across my face knowing that rain would come. A rainy day is a blanket of comfort to me, a welcomed friend. It wasn’t always this way. I used to think of rain as most people do: an inconvenience and drudgery. But it all began to change when I experienced my first heartbreak.
In those days I would run instead of cry, but would inevitably end up in tears and without breath in the middle of it. I developed a cynicism about people and love, and our dreadful incapacity to do it well, ever. I started building walls, wary of who I let into my world. And most of all, I questioned who I’d become.
It was in times when I felt so alone and was at my lowest that rain would come. I would go out to walk in it, to feel something. It felt as though the whole world was joining my grief, as if nature cried with me, letting it’s unsalted tears fall on the ground, pounding, washing, nurturing. So I learned slowly to let my own tears do the same, I learned to own my circumstances instead of avoiding and fighting them, and let them nurture me. In time my walls began to come down, and my expectations of people and understanding of love changed.
In the middle of all this heartache I also moved to the African rain forest for two and a half months, which had a huge part on growing my affections for rain. I lived in beautiful village and, having no running water, we had a water pump centrally located for all to use. The women would gather there to pump and haul water back to their homes. The most experienced ones could carry a bucket on their head and one on their hand–it took me a whole month to be able to put a full bucket on my head without spilling any of the hard earned water. Needless to say, when rain would come, it was a celebration. Free, clean water came to you from heaven. I could see the curtain of water coming from the mountains and hear its rush getting closer by the minute. At its sight everyone ran around in a frenzy, in laughter, announcing the coming of the rain and gathering all water barrels and any clean container to catch it. We were lucky, our roof was tin, so we could catch a lot of it easily. A good rain could bring us about two days worth of water usage. To this day when a its a good, hard rain, I have to urge to get a bucket and catch it.
So you see, it was through this process that, as I healed and years passed, rain brought more than just empathy, it brought joy. The rainfall washes the world, it turns all surfaces into a mirror. It brings us clean water to use. It nurtures the ground so that when the sun comes, it can grow many beautiful things. Rain showed me how the days that seem “unhappy” can often be the most meaningful, and that things that bring us pain can sometimes help us grow.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecstaticist/4267912939/