by Nicole Graves, Sugar Land, TXA child again, the elderly woman jumps into each puddle and welcomes the voice and touch of the water splashing around her. The soft rain tickles and streams down her sweet, wrinkled face. As the rain falls, each shimmering drop acts as a silver memory. The old woman smiles at the gentle patter of the drops on the brittle shingles of the roof, and memories flood her mind.A drop falls ... A slick, yellow slip 'n' slide is brought to life by the green snake which lies coiled by the side of her brick home. A young girl leans back and then springs forward with a burst of energy. She runs and runs, her little legs pounding the ground at lightning speed. At the last moment, she jumps and flies through the air like Superman, her arms stretched before her. Suddenly there is contact; her belly meets the wet mat on the spongy grass below. The momentum of her flying body sends her sliding freely to the end of the mat and beyond. The water from the slip 'n' slide falls on her like a gentle rain during the entire journey.Another drop falls ... She hoists her pack on her shoulders and slides her clear rain poncho over her head. The sound of the rain on the plastic poncho sounds much like the rain on an open umbrella. Her family also slips on their packs and, with silent excitement, marches through the sticky grass toward the awaiting trail-head. As they head down the trail, the trees engulf them and the rain ceases to fall on their noses protruding from the ponchos. At the end of the trail they emerge from the deep woods into a clearing. The breathtaking sight of a shimmering waterfall plummeting from hundreds of feet above mingles with the falling rain, and a rainbow shines in the mist.Another drop falls ... The woman's mind is transported to a quiet lake in East Texas, sixty years ago. The gray boat rocks slightly as her grandpa reaches for his fishing lure which has fallen to the bottom of the rowboat. Her line zings as she casts toward the shore, and a calm rain plops in the water. The tranquil sounds of nature's silence fill her ears. Suddenly the boat lurches, and her grandfather sets the hook in a three-pound bass. He reels steadily as he eagerly pulls his prize to the side of the boat. Another drop falls and brings yet another memory. Inspired by the falling rain, warm recollections flow into the woman's mind. Joy and excitement flood her heart with happiness. When the rain ends, she need not despair because the memories will linger. 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.