“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene
As I pull my blue truck around the corner, an enormous raindrop splats my windshield, and my heart begins racing.
My reaction: Screw it. I’m going on a walk anyway.
Although I’m on my way home, I zoom past my driveway. I want to go alone, and I don’t feel like asking, explaining, or discussing the subject. That happens a lot when my children are gone. I feel almost defiant going wherever I want whenever I want. Who cares? I’m alone.
I park on the roadside and reach for my hat just as the clouds explode. Undaunted, I pull my pink baseball cap down farther over my face and go!
As I pitter and patter, the massive drops plink and plop in newly-formed puddles. And then they are smaller. And harder. Sheets of them pour from the sky, barraging my bare arms like needles. I’m walking and breathing hard now. I hold out my arms and let the warm needles bathe me. I dare them to fall harder.
My feet and my heart pound. My children. My children. I clench and I run. I don’t dodge the rushing, rising rivulets around me. I dive into them, soaking my sneakers and sloshing through. I’m a buffalo running head-first into the storm.
I hop through the puddles and slam them and splash them. I sing and I shout because no one can hear. The blue-grey clouds rumble with laughter at my antics. They crackle and crash with bright flashes, startling me, and mocking my anguish.
I play chicken with the mail truck, rolling along on its merry way. The driver stops to peer out the window at me. “Are you okay?” he asks with eyebrows raised. I’m soaked to the skin, and I smile. “I’m fine.” Then I bolt down the lane.
It’s a lie. I’m not okay. But I’m getting there. I will run there.
I run. The torrent slows and the soft, warm rain washes over my body like tears from heaven. My feet pound in rhythm with thoughts in my head: My children. My children.
My sweet boys. They go every summer. To be with their father. He needs them. They need him. My children. They’ll come back. They always come back.
The sun is out now. It shines through a million little drops of liquid glass. And suddenly the last few are hanging on the tips of bright summer leaves, not sure whether to cling or fall. Steam rises, hazy and lazy, from the shiny black pavement. I breathe it in, soaking up its warmth, letting it hug my plastered hair and clothing.
I can go back now. Back to my life sans kids. I’m temporarily missing two permanent appendages. They are blonde, and I adore them. I miss them.
But right now, all I can do is dance in the rain.
When you are struggling, what do you do to keep your sanity?
7 thoughts on “Summer rain”
Your honesty and strength never cease to astound me. You have a gift for exposing your pain and struggles that is raw yet defiant.
You ask “When you are struggling, what do you do to keep your sanity?” First, maybe you should define “sanity.” Depending on the definition, the answer might be that I don’t : ). But I have a couple stalwart, steadfast friends who keep me tied to reality; remind me that I have some value (for my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies if nothing else); and never, never tell me that I shouldn’t feel whatever way I’m feeling.
And of course I read your blog.
Your post is poetry. I wonder every day why I stay. I think now I know why. I sat in that same rain (only a few hours earlier) in rocking chairs, in silence, wifh my newly turned 14 year old daughter. I cannot face sitting there alone without her. Your post made me realize what it would be like if I had to share her with her mother. Thanks for your honesty and purity.
Oh … Ruth. You are one of the biggest reasons I continue to write. Thanks for listening …
I don’t feel strong. But it’s nice to know you see me that way. 😉
Such a heartbreaking image. So many lives, so many different perspectives. Thanks for sharing yours, too.
I agree that Melody is a poetic, evocative writer. I understand why Melody left; I understand why you have chosen (so far) to stay. Everyone’s story is different.
You are strong, if only because when you feel weakest, you keep going. I hereby present you with the Energizer Bunny Award.
Awww … 😉