Come on Rain!
One of the best books I think I ever read to my children as they grew up was one called, “Come on Rain!”, written by Karen Hesse. The story is about a little girl who is anxious to experience the joys that the summer rains bring. Not only is the story line so relative, but it is also so well written. In fact, I often used the book to help me teach about the beauty and power of well-chosen words to my grade 12 English classes. Little did I know how this book would so much parallel the end of this particular journey with ovarian cancer.
Mamma lifts a listless vine and sighs. “Three weeks and not a drop,” she says, sagging over her parched plants. The sound of a heavy truck rumbles past. Uneasy, Mamma looks over to me. “Is that thunder, Tessie?” she asks. Mamma hates thunder. I climb up the steps for a better look.
“It’s just a truck, Mamma,” I say. I am sizzling like a hot potato. I ask Mamma, “May I put on my bathing suit?”
“Absolutely not,” Mamma says, frowning under her straw hat. “You’ll burn all day out in this sun.”
All the insects have gone still. Trees sway under a swollen sky, the wind grows bold and bolder, . . . and just like that, rain comes. The first drops plop down big, making dust dance all around us. Then a deeper gray descends and the air cools and the clouds burst, and suddenly rain is everywhere. “Come on, rain!” we shout.
I am waiting for the rain, too.
What a beautiful symbol of life.
Six more days of “heat’. Six more days until my final chemo burns away the last remnants of ovarian cancer. Six more days of waiting for the rain.
I can’t wait to dance in the summer rain! I want to dance in the rain! I want to rejoice in the rain.
I feel like Tessie.
Imagine the drops of rain dancing at my feet, the air cooling and the clouds bursting? Spectacular. Life- giving. Rejuvinating.
Hesse describes it best, “It streams through our hair and down our backs. It freckles our feet, glazes our toes. We turn in circles, glistening in our rain skin. Our mouths wide, we gulp down rain.”
And then the mothers, who were watching over their children, join in as they ” . . . fling off their shoes, skim off their hose, tossing streamers of stockings over their shoulders. Our barelegged mammas dance down the steps and join us in the fresh, clean rain . . .”
That’ s me!!!! I want to be a barelegged mamma! I want to dance down the steps to join the world in the fresh, clean rain.
“We swing our wet and wild-haired mammas ’til we’re all laughing under trinkets of silver rain.”
“I hug Mamma hard, and she hugs me back. The rain has made us new. As the clouds move off, I trace the drips on Mamma’s face. Everywhere, everyone, everything is misty limbs, springing back to life. “We sure did get a soaking, Mamma,” I say, and we head home purely soothed, fresh as dew, turning toward the first sweet rays of the sun.”
I want to dance in the rain. I want to get a soaking! I want to be purely soothed, fresh as dew, to turn toward the first sweet rays of the sun.
How beautiful. How beautifully written. How I long to dance – in the rain.
Come on rain!