i am obsessed with rain. with the way that it smells, with the way the sky looks before and the way it all feels afterwards but most of all, with the actual act of rain itself. i love to watch it fall. i have stood in my room on the cool night hundreds of times and stared out the window as the water returns to where it came from. last night i went to APT and during the show, it started to rain. my eyes soon drifted from the stage towards the rain falling from the sky. backlit from the stage lights, i could actually see the raindrops as they tumbled down on top of me. and i begun to think, think about how i always watch the rain, about how rain calms me in the strangest ways and as i thought all of this, all the moments that the rain has surrounded me this summer flashed in front of my eyes.
it was raining on Diane’s graduation day. we all were outside at the same park shelter where we celebrated with Alex just two years ago and we froze but in a good way, i suppose, since we were happy. happy that Diane has come so far, happy that she is excited for her future and all to come, happy because despite everything, in that moment she seemed happy as well. but at the same time, i was cold in a different way because the woman who sat next to me on the picnic bench and during the ceremony was someone who i had met less than 9 months before and some way, some how, she knows me better than my blood relations who surrounded me. and so, as i have hundreds of times before, i began to wonder as i ate cheese curds and watched Diane greet her guests, what makes a family. what makes someone important to you, so much a part of your life that you would be lost without them, not who you are today, different.
it rained on beka and i when we went camping. i remember again being cold, oh so very cold as i attempted to allow my sleeping bag to swallow me whole and sunk into the puddles forming under our tent. as i listened to the drops fall onto the fabric that kept me dry, i thought again on a subject that passes my mind more often than i would like it to. the topic of how much worry is normal, how much is okay before it starts to shape your life. i wondered over and over again as the rain danced what i should do, how others feel–the same as me or different? is there a right way to feel? a right amount of emotion? the rain was too loud. i couldn’t decide.
it rained when we went to bass lake. i have written about this moment in my life-moments that seem to be so long ago-over and over again but now that i think about the moments in a different way, through the eyes of the rain i realize how much that rain had to say to me. because it was not a rain, oh no. it was a storm. storm after storm, so loud it would wake us in the night. the night during which i slept in the second bedroom for the very first time ever. how strange that i could still have a first in the midst of a last. the water poured down on us though and it was telling me more words, more emotions, than i could swallow. its okay to be mad, it screamed for there were no whispers in these drops. the world is taking this from you when perhaps you still need it, still want it, still desire it. so scream my dear child, fight it all. cry. let your heart yell. the thunder will join you.
we were trying to go to the farmer’s market, to show iida and jenni one of the unique parts of our town but the rain became too much, as it does sometimes, taking over the world outside. this was a rain that was so much an opposite of the one that came before it would hurt your eyes if you looked too long. it was telling me to let go, to let go of my ideas of friendships and accept the people who build you up, to have adventures together and to laugh. because that’s the only way you can grow stronger.
it rained next when we were at suomenlinna. how many miles i had traveled and yet the rain still found me. it started slowly and so we moved, deeper under the tree but soon the leaves were not enough to protect us and so we decided to run, run for the ferry, run for the warmth. except with my camera and shoes under my raincoat i could not move fast. the rain kissed every inch of my skin and the cobblestone dug into my feet. iida and i were last. the ferry almost left without us, except it didn’t and we got on for free. a heat of the moment thing. and then came the rainbow and emily and i stood out from the room on the deck of the boat and watched as hope emerged from the sky. that rain caused no thoughts. it gave me something instead.
when we left iida’s house it rained again. i knew exactly what the rain was telling me that. look at these people who love you because you love iida. look at how the doors of this house were open. so wide, so welcoming. look at how much you gained by taking a risk and putting your heart out there-a friend, a sister and her family in turn. how simple that rain was. it should have been sad except it wasn’t. because even though i was leaving and i didn’t know when i will be back, the rain was pointing out what was more important: the warmth of the family, all that i gained, all that i have.
it rained as we drove, miles and miles, through three countries, to burgeis. we were in the car and the rain danced on the metal surrounding us. it was a simple rain, once again. it just wanted to be noticed, to show us the beauty it was creating.
when we walked to the monastery, the droplets came next. i walked alone, a head of the group with thousands of thoughts running through my mind faster than i could make them into anything of value. it was my favorite hike we took because of the rain, because i love to walk in my rain coat, to hear the drizzle as my feet move and this time the rain was leading me to what it wanted to show me, in these moments i felt God.
the day after we arrived in Dublin, it rained. we were lost and unsure of where to go, as we had been many times before, and we raced down the abandoned streets and stumbled upon a thrift store and then a cafe. it was again a simple rain. emily and i. we were letting going of the scars we had caused, starting over, forgiving.
it rained on the beach, the one that i forgot the name of, but the one where i lost a piece of my soul to Ireland for 20 years and realized that i had lost so much more than that. i lost my whole soul really, and not just to Ireland but to the world. and as i lost, i gained.
when we landed in London and took the tube to King’s Cross and were struggling to find our flat in a city we had no notion of, it began to rain. our bags were wet, our hair was wet, our shoes, our clothes. everything. tempers flared. eyes were rolled. the rain was telling me something and even now, weeks later, i am still not entirely sure what it was trying to say. perhaps it was telling me welcome, welcome to this city that will show you all you hate and all you love. or maybe it was just making an appearance to annoy me, so that i would know that so many things are out of my control.
when we arrived in blair atholl it rained. another simple rain–my ancestors. they were welcoming me home.
and while we were there, for the rest of the time, it drizzled. nothing to stop us but an almost constant drizzle. something like that should annoy you but since i adore rain, it only made scotland seem even prettier to my eyes. i knew what this rain meant to-it was showing me that although things are not easy, and things are not perfect, my family is me. they were given to me for a reason. i need them. i owe them.
and then there was last night, outside as i sat next to my sister and my cousin. and it rained. i tilted my head back, the play on the stage meaning nothing to me in this moment. i had forgot it was even occurring, in all honesty because the rain was telling me something. it was falling from the dark summer night onto my face and running down my back. it was telling me to let go, that this summer taught me hundred of things, that the rain gave me many lessons, all over the world, but i have to move on, i have to take these lessons, these memories and let them help me grow into a better person. and so i will try to listen to the rain.
it is not always an easy thing. the rain is not some thing that speaks in clear words. but it is beauty. the simplest things are beautiful and the beautiful things are the simplest.
i owe the rain everything.