I Forgot to Stand in the Rain This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 19, 2013
“You have to put your clothes away!” Mom repeated.

“I knowwww!” I growled back. It had been one of those unfathomably humid days, where your bones creak with each step and your muscles melt, yet somehow they have the strength to take you down with them. A day where everything any other person says makes every lip curl into a snarl and every nostril flare. I looked out into the front yard to see the grey, somber clouds hanging over our Hickory, Maple and Oak trees with their leaves twisting upwards, begging, even more than I, for the rain.

It took every ounce of strength to hold back the anger that so desperately wanted to erupt from my lungs into a nonsensical battle cry of unknown words. I kept glancing out the window until finally the sky started to rumble and flashes raced across the heavens not wanting to be hindered by the darkness of the storm. A soft static noise accumulated into a nonstop sizzling as it began to pour. Some of the pressure was alleviated as the stifling moisture left the atmosphere, lessening the anger bubbling under the surface and leaving in its place depression. I decided to step outside for a minute and try to gasp at the newly released oxygen.

My feet slapped onto the chilling concrete of the porch. I began by standing in front of the blue screen door with my hands shoved into my pockets, watching the wind take the trees’ breath away. The bulbous, solid drops speeding off the edge of the roof and just barely hitting the concrete before disappearing into the grass drew me towards them. I hung my toes off the edge of the porch and let my hands collect the roof water. I started to chuckle. I wish I could explain the bitter irony that caused this sudden mood shift, but I’m afraid it slipped through my mind as quickly as it came and has since been forgotten.

“Sara! Are you going to put away your clothes?!” she asked grumpily and understandably so. I had been a jerk in my foul mood and had probably ruined her day.

“Yes, I will,” I said calmly still amused by my stupidity in meaningless anger. “In a little while….”

After Mom went back in the house, I slipped my bare foot off the concrete and onto the dripping grass dominated by patches of barren soil. For a few milliseconds I thought myself waterproof, allowing each drop to bounce off of me. Then the rain began to soak into my clothing, my skin and perhaps even my soul. However frigid, it was also melting. It melted away the anger and depression that had weighed so heavily on my heart.

I looked around our yard and no longer saw a dark, dreary day. I saw the trees that I used to throw myself at to try to climb, but never succeeded. The tree that forked in the middle that I would ask my mom to lift me into the cleft of, so I could begin my journey upwards, always forgetting that what it lacked in footholds it made up for in carpenter ants. I remembered gazing up at these trees’ luscious, green canopies as I nestled myself into the grass beneath; except I had only looked at them from this angle when it was a gorgeous summer day, never half blinded from rain drops drowning my eyes. It was somehow better.

Then I looked over at the zebra grass sprawling itself out from the corner of the garden. Every spring it compelled me to take out the dead blades of the past to be replaced by new blades even taller than last year’s. It was the same patch of zebra grass that I had to avoid running over with the lawn mower every summer, somehow leaning over the steering wheel to push it out of the way, simultaneously ducking under the apple tree branches while keeping my foot on the accelerator. I looked at it and smiled.

I turned my attention to the skyline where our cow damaged yard kissed the horizon. I had never truly looked at it while it was dark and blurred by the presence of millions of droplets. It was perfect. Everything was perfect. And I discovered that I had taken all this beauty for granted. “I’m sorry.” I whispered realizing that God had blessed me with such a divine work of art made even more beautiful with the gift of a deluge.

All my life people had taught me that when it’s raining I have to put on my raincoat, my boots, my hat and better take an umbrella, too, because apparently I’m made of sugar. I forgot to stand in the rain. My mind cluttered with everyday stresses and to-do lists, I let convenient habits govern my actions and apparel. Why wear all that junk when rain is so much of a sensory experience? Why should I accept all those things as common sense when I know in my heart that running out barefoot and unprotected from weather is so much more fun?

“Sara! Your blouses are getting wrinkly and I’m not putting them away for you!”

“I know…I’ll put them away.” I said wishing that instead of hanging up my blouses, I could tell the world not to forget to stand in the rain.

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