The ground was slick from the nearly invisible drops. They were so light and tiny that he could barely feel them. It was more like walking through a mist than normal rain but still was falling enough to accumulate on the concrete at his feet. It had been a wet winter and he had been thoroughly enjoying it. Rain was a special thing, a rare thing in his opinion, meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. Perhaps that was a result of growing up in the desert where rain was scarce or perhaps that was just part of who he was, who he would have been regardless of where and how he was raised.
He used to go walking in the rain, let it pour over him, drench him, and exalt in the experience. Then, frozen and dripping, peel off his clothes and take a warm shower. Afterwards, he would curl up in a chair near a window and spend hours watching the rain, watching it catch the light, watching it slash sideways in the wind, watching pool. He was enchanted by it. In truth, he still was but no longer had the leisurely hours to spend in such a manner.
The sound of his steps echoed in the narrow corridor. He walked under an awning, sheltered from the drizzle. He longed to step out into the open and once again revel in the feeling of the water soaking into him but his responsibilities came first. He had to finish his day at work. Had to get home and spend time with his family and get his chores done. Then, if it was still raining and all went smoothly, he might be able to carve out a few minutes to sit by the window and listen and watch. In the meantime, his short walk around the building would have to suffice. He was close enough he could reach out and touch the storm, even though he kept himself from it.
The colors burst across the sky in a banded arcing spectrum. The warmth of the sun on their backs as they marveled at the bow was an odd sensation considering the icy drops of rain that still fell. The puddles at their feet churned and their hair was soon drenched. They stood in silence, mesmerized by the beauty and strangeness of the moment. Then the storm shifted again and the rainbow faded away, taking its promise of gold with it.
The day held many such magical moments as the sun slipped in and out of view and the rain fell in starts and stops. They never seemed to tire of it, though. It didn’t become routine or mundane. Each new spark of beauty was a reason to stop and revel. Perhaps that was down to their youthful naivety? Or, perhaps, that was the full power of nature on display? The truth may never be known and doesn’t really matter anyway. They didn’t need to know why the day was magical to appreciate it.
The rain cleared and the horizon stretched to where the mountains met the heavens, clean and clear and glorious.
There isn’t much I don’t like about good storm. And, I would be hard pressed to give you the same answer every time to what my favorite part is, because that certainly changes based on time of day, my mood, how long it has been between storms, what day of the week it is, … and on and on.
But, there is certainly something magical about letting my eyes cast towards the far off lands and feel like it is so close I could touch it. It’s right there. If I could just get my fingertips to push that much further outward… If I could just keep walking, just keeping running, just keep driving… If…
Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? A storm, to me, opens up the infinite possibilities of that magical “if.” The power behind it. The way it sweeps the world clean. The sense of rejuvenation of purpose and spirit. The basic essence of life. They combine into this one thing, a drop of rain, that can mean so much more, that can mean everything, if only we have the imagination to dream…
She stood in the rain and let the water wash the dirt from her hands. It was a warm storm. The shower was refreshing despite the lateness of the day.
She reached skyward, tilting her head back, eyes closed. The dirt turned to mud and sloughed off in heavy chunks. It felt like the water was cleansing her soul as well but she knew she would wear the stain of her sins for the rest of her life. She didn’t expect that to be very long.
Her sins would catch up to her, no matter how clean she got at the end of the day. She had no doubt about that. And then she would find the peace that had so long eluded her.
On that night, though, as the full moon stay hidden behind the formidable clouds unleashing their torrent upon the earth, she let the rain wash away all thoughts of what had come before and what she still had to face. For those minutes in the gentle wrath of the storm she focused solely on the feel of the water splashing against her, the feel of the grit being pulled free from her skin, the feel of her soul rising from its hidden depths to exalt in the joy of the experience.
She opened her eyes and gazed into the swirling darkness above. It looked like familiar, like how she imagined the place within her where her soul went to hide as she worked. A smile crossed her lips as she dreamed of slipping free of gravity and climbing into the darkness to hide away forever. She would enjoy being there, folded in the clouds, surrounded by the thrum of natural energy, traveling the world until spent only to be reborn again and again, like a phoenix of water rather than fire.
She laughed into the storm. Her voice boomed in her ears but was quickly muffled by the wind and rain.
In many ways, she was a phoenix. Each new hunt was a cycle. She was born when she located a target. She grew, aged, and lived on the hunt. Then she died with each kill only to be reborn again.
She was dead beneath this storm. Soon she would pull herself free of the flood and flourish in her way. One day the cycle would end. Until then, she would fulfill her fated role.
I could feel the storm coming. The energy of it tickled my fingertips. Its pressure warmed my skin even as the swirling winds cooled the air. The remnants of a hurricane slowly churned closer and closer until the clouds blocked the sun and the rain began to fall.
The storm no longer held the punch it had wielded weeks before. It had become sluggish and weak as it drew nearer land. Despite our need for rain, we were all grateful for that. Rain was needed, yes, but not at the expense of a devastating hurricane. And yet, despite its docile approach, I could still feel the storm coming.
Perhaps it was the amount of time since our last storm of any measure that allowed me to be so sensitive to the current ones approach. It had been months and I was desperate for a change, desperate for the cleansing relief of a rain washing over me and my small part of the world. Or perhaps there was something different about this storm and I would have felt it regardless. It no longer was a hurricane but it carried the DNA of one. It held the memory of the power and fury of its youth.
Sometimes that’s all that is needed, a memory, to become again what you once were.
I could feel the storm coming and I wondered, when it arrived, how it would show itself.