Remember the Sound of 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’s the first day of Summer. It’s bright and hot and at it seems like autumn is a forever away.
Now it is a sunny day and for all the world this day looks like summer, feels like summer, smells like summer, yet the ridge of trees just over there beyond the old wooden fence is beginning to blaze with color.
Time is passing. Summer just arrived, but it is autumn’s teasing that takes the mind backwards. Winter and spring are done, autumn was long ago, but not too far away.
I drift forward and backward to an autumn day. Any autumn day. Just another day in the life. 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. I can’t, can you?
Can you imagine the lowering clouds and the dismal and weak, sickly light of a rainy day? Imagine it is raining through the sunshine and the colors of autumn are dripping wet with rain. Imagine a summer day where the seasons converge into a hot boiling mess, and the sun is drowning drowning in the rain. You still can’t hear the pouring rain in that day that escaped from summer long ago. Or the day that rain came on some summer-warm autumn day. But that’s OK… neither can I.
Imagine a day in the winter when the dour and timid sun barely rises from its purple bed of stars and comes to scrape the sky for but 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 deep 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 against 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 gass stands a long lonely fence of old wood. It is gray and pourous; bugs have been eating it away for decades, but it still stands a crumbling barrier keeping things in and keeping things out. It still defines where something ends and something begins and its young shadows still dance on the tall waving grass.
I try to hear the sound of the rainy day that I tried to memorize a hundred times, but I cannot remember the sweet sound it makes as it pounds on the roof and splatters leaves.
I can’t really feel the puddles in the street or the cool wetness on my bare feet. I can only faintly remember the sonorous sound of the rain pounding on the porch of a sad house. I can barely remember what the flashes of lightning looked like as they streaked and ripped a dark and somber spring 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 first day of summer.
Our time is borrowed like autumn borrows a beautiful summer day. Or any season steals a day from another season.
We only vaguely and wistfully remember the days when we looked at the world through the eyes of a child – full of wonder, full of trust, full of yearning.
Days when mud puddles were oceans and caterpillars and lightning bugs were pets. When summer nights filled with flashing bugs amused us with mysterious and beautiful dancing light. When we, as children, welcomed each season for its own sake. And when the night was a time for sleeping and sleeping was a time of serenity and peace. We can recall, if we try hard enough, lying in our beds safe and knowing our parents would keep us from harm. Then, in that childish serenity, 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 of the rain on a beautiful sunny day like this. The first day of summer and I can’t remember what a rainy day sounds like. But I’m trying to remember. And even though I know I can never do it, I will always try to remember the sound of the rain.
There’s a certain peace in trying.