Have You Ever Listened To The Rain?
Have you ever really listened to the rain? Have you memorized the sound of it as it pours down on the streets and the roofs and the leaves and the grass? Now it is a sunny day and for all the world it looks like summer, feels like summer, smells like summer, yet it won’t be long before that ridge of trees just over there – beyond the old wooden fence – will blaze with autumn color.
Time is passing and summer will soon give way to autumn. And it is autumn’s summer teasing that takes the mind backwards. The day is so sunny and so bright so much so that the colors of autumn glow in the sunshine. Now go back and remember the sound of the rain. Can you? Can you picture the lowering clouds and the dismal weak light of a rainy day? Imagine it is raining through the sunshine and the colors of autumn are dripping wet with rain. Imagine a day where the seasons transpose and the sun shares the sky with the rain. You still can’t hear the pouring rain in a day that escaped from summer and came to visit us in the fall. You can’t walk in the snow and remember the heat of a hot summer day.
And neither can I.
Imagine a day in the winter when the dour and timid sun barely rises from its bed of stars and comes to see us only for a wisp of time. Before you know it, you are sitting in the dark again, furnace blower blowing hot, heat swirling trying to vanquish the tendrils of winter than come sneaking in through cracks and crevices you can’t see and can’t seal. You can’t get warm no matter how high you turn the thermostat because the cold has buried itself in the marrow of your bones. Your cold fingers reaching for the blanket and then our arms and hands reach for another and you pile them all on in layers of armor in the night. But no matter how many layers of blankets you bury yourself in, they can’t protect you againt the glassy Knight of Winter. His secret sentries have come and they have entered you like thousand tiny icy lovers piercing every inch of you and finding purchased in your aching and tired bones. Winter takes its toll and if you’re not careful, it will break your soul and a thousand warm spring days won’t be enough to wash the bitterness away.
Across the field of too-long, too-green grass stands a long lonely fence of old wood. It is gray and porous; bugs have been eating it away for decades, but it still stands a barrier keeping things in and keeping things out. It still defines where something ends and something else begins and its young shadows still dance on the tall waving grass. I try to hear the sound of the rainy day that I memorized a hundred times, but I cannot hear the pounding rain roaring as it splatters leaves. I can’t really feel the puddles in the street or the cool wetness on my bare feet. I can only faintl remember the sonorous sound of the rain pounding on the roof of my sad house. I can barely remember what the flashes of lightning looked like as they ripped the dark and somber sky apart like a knife. I can’t really remember the sound of the thunder, its low rumbling growl is hard to hear the world of sunlight on a perfect summer day in autumn.
Our time is borrowed like autumn borrows a beautiful summer day; stealing a day from another season. We only vaguely remember the days when we looked at the world through the eyes of a child – full of wonder, full of trust. Days when mud puddles were oceans and when caterpillars were pets. When lightning bugs amused us for hours with their mysterious but beautiful dancing light. When each season was welcomed for its own sake and when the night was as time of sleeping was a time of serenity and peace. Lying in our beds safe in knowing our parents would keep us from harm, we were free to dream the dreams of children – the dreams we never dare to dream when we grow up.
We can no more remember what it felt like to be a child than we can remember the sound and the feel of the rain, when we are in the middle of a beautiful sunny day like this one.
Even though we can never do it, we should always try to remember the sound of the rain.
Have you ever really listened to the rain?