One afternoon, a few days ago, we had some strong summer rains in our area. Even though “rainy days and Mondays” (as Karen Carpenter sang) can bring some people down, but in this instance, it was a welcome respite to the several weeks of sweltering Iowa heat.
When the rain started to taper down and the sun began to peek again through the rain clouds, my wife told my kids, to look out for the appearance of the glorious but ephemeral rainbow. I could have also told them that a ‘tikbalang’ (half-man half-horse creature) was getting married whenever it is simultaneously raining and the sun is shining, as I was told when I was a child, but I let it pass.
My children then asked us if they can go outside in the rain with their umbrellas and wait for the showing of the rainbow. Since there was no lighting and thunder, we let them out. At least they asked permission. If they asked permission to take a shower in the rain, I could have permitted them too, as every kid needs to experience that, at least once in their lifetime. I don’t believe in catching pneumonia when you get soaked in the rain. Just don’t catch the lightning.
So my kids grab their umbrellas and went out in the rain. My son even brought out his camping chair and parked it in the middle of the driveway. And while they waited for the much-anticipated rainbow, they frolicked, jumped in the puddles, danced and twirled their umbrellas under the rain.
Long moments passed, and the rain continued to pitter-patter, while the sun never appeared more than a peep, until it totally disappeared behind the hills. And the rainbow? It never showed. As well as the legendary pot of gold in its end.
When I called my kids to come in as it was getting dark, they did not seem too disappointed, even if the awaited rainbow was a no-show. And it did not appear that the rain dampened their spirits, though it dampened their hair and clothes. It dampened our floors too, when my kids entered in.
Sometimes, we don’t need to see the rainbow to experience joy. We just have to appreciate the rain.
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow