Yesterday was a cloudy Saturday and I found myself disoriented. After a lengthy phone conversation with my brother about complicated family issues, I felt I needed to think and regroup. For a few minutes, I just paced around the apartment (I do this a lot when panicky or in deep thought, and that time I was both.) I knew I needed to pray but words won’t form, neither in my mouth nor my mind. But somehow I knew heaven was hearing me loud and clear despite the wordlessness. I absentmindedly hunched in front of my computer; if only I could Google the answers to the half-formed questions in my mind. Oh, Lord… I need to breathe.
Looking out the window, I saw that dark clouds had eclipsed the noonday sun. Then it started to rain. Not a drizzle, but a downpour with thunder and lightning to boot. A thought crossed my mind… Why not. I had to act fast before the rational part of me kicked in. I hurriedly put on the shirt lying on my bed, grabbed my house keys, and slipped into my tsinelas. Taking a deep breath at the red gate, I stepped into the pouring rain, arms crossed and sometimes looking up to feel the rain on my face.
I brisk-walked towards the University Avenue, avoiding the gaze of the people (one or two of whom were my neighbors) huddled under the shade of a sari-sari store. I passed a lady effectively shielded from the rain by her huge red umbrella. She looked at me with puzzlement, or so I thought. This is silly, Aleks. But there was no backing out now.
Soon the discomfort wore off as rain drenched my entire body, shirt clinging to skin and shorts weighed down by rainwater. Kids frolicked with abandon under the natural shower as if it was the grandest thing in the world. I was half-expecting some of them to shoot an odd glance at this tall, overaged (relative to them) figure in the rain. Nothing of the sort happened. Either they were too busy having fun to notice me, or maybe, just maybe, in the summer rain everyone, regardless of age or height, is nothing but a kid. Whatever reason each of us had for abandoning the comforts of a roof above our heads that day, the rain gladly blessed us with its refreshing touch.
In the driving rain, I sang on top of my lungs; spread my arms and looked up until I could no longer keep my eyes open; stood still and watched the leaves of a fire tree tremble with the slapping of raindrops; uttered prayers to God, the rainmaker, and wondered whether the mighty sound of the wind carried His answers…
For at least one person in that summer downpour, rain seeped through to the soul — soothing and rejuvenating an anxious spirit.