by BCBP Editor

By Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila

It’s rainy season again! The cycle of weather has revolved from the summer HOT to the season of rain! Almost daily I can see dark rain clouds and hear the rumble of thunder on the distant horizon but only once or twice so far have the heavy rains reached us.
rain storm over the sea
I remember summer storms from summers past, especially memorable are the times we spent in our small rest house on the beach in San Jose, Negros Oriental. I remember … clouds gathering darkly, the air rumbling with muffled thunder, flashes of summer lightning flickering in the sky. Nature seemed to hold her breath in anticipation of the coming storm.

And then the rain comes . . . The first few raindrops would caress the leaves of the trees and pit-pat on the galvanized sheets of the roof of our beach rest-house. I loved watching the storm approach over the sea, obliterating the horizon as the clouds opened their flood gates and the rain poured down in torrents.

Soon the rhythm of the rain on the roof would become the steady, insistent, drumming beat of hard rock music. As I hurried to close the shutters, my feet would take up this beat and I would find myself dancing to the rhythm of the rain. Soon the rain would settle into the steady, comforting rhythmic beat of summer rain, almost mesmerizing in its lilting cadence. A great time for a refreshing summer nap while Nature refreshed and renewed herself!

Then there was the day I was returning from the market and got caught in one of these sudden downpours. I knew that the day would be rainy so I had brought along my umbrella and rain hat. But I had left them in our car while I had gone to buy summer fruit from a roadside stand. As the rain aggressively pelted down, I ran for the shelter of the car and, of course, got soaked before I got there.

What did I learn from this experience? I was prepared for the rain, I had brought my umbrella and rain hat with me when I left our house, only I had left them in the car. I did not have them with me when I most needed them.

I was prepared. I knew that, sooner or later, the storm would come with all its sudden fury. And yet, when the urgent need for rain gear was upon me, I had to waste time running to get to the car … and once in the car didn’t need the rain gear to keep me dry – I was already soaking wet!
rain laughing in the
Suddenly I began to laugh at myself, at the ironic humor in the situation. I was wet but I was not going to melt, my skin is waterproof. Although still uncomfortably wet from the rain, I saw the earth come to life as soon as the rain stopped and the sun came out. The rains may bring on the floods, but they also water the fields and the forests and give life to the parched earth.

Isn’t life sometimes like this? We prepare ourselves for anticipated problems or difficulties, and yet, when these are thrust upon us, we often waste time trying to remember where we stored the solutions, or in our anxiety, completely forget that we had prepared the necessary resources to deal with the problematic situation. We see this lapse between preparedness and confronting the situation in major instances like a fire in the neighborhood, or when an earthquake shivers the ground beneath us, and in minor instances, like being caught in the monsoon rain without an umbrella. And yet we know that as suddenly as the storm (or fire or earthquake or difficulty) comes, just as suddenly the sun bursts through the clouds, a rainbow appears, everything looks brighter and life goes on.

The storms in life come and go. I will continue to be as prepared as I can be. And if all my preparation is not enough, I know that the storm will pass, so I will enjoy the moment of the storm and dance to its rhythm instead of wasting time worrying, or being afraid or apprehensive of the storm itself and its aftermath.
rain dancing in the
Although the rains this year are forecast to be more frequent, more sudden, with a heavier downpour of water due to man’s abuse of the natural environment, I still look forward to relishing the fresh clean fragrance of the air after the rain.

Our lives sometimes need a good rain to clean out the dullness and dirt, to enable us to steady the rhythm of our lives, to slow us down, to force us to find that moment of peace that refreshes. And as the rains that bring on the floods disrupt our lives, we need to check out those areas in our lives that we have overlooked or ignored, to repair the damage, and prepare to move on toward a stronger, more fulfilling future.

That rain storm at the beach many summers ago helped me understand that instead of just hurrying to close the window to shut out my worries, I need to dance with the rhythm of the problem or difficulty that is confronting me. I need to be as prepared as possible for the storms ahead but I know that I also need to keep my sense of humor to be able to laugh at the situation and at myself. I remind myself that God also has a sense of humor, just look at all the weird things He has created, including me!
rain and umbrella
Nature benefits from the rhythm of the rain that cleanses, renews and refreshes. We should learn from Nature’s example. Let us clean up our act, renew our strength to meet the everyday challenges of life, and step out into the bright air of the present moment, refreshed and ready to laugh at ourselves and dance to the rhythm of the rain when the next summer rain or monsoon storm hits us.

And don’t forget: always be prepared, carry an umbrella!

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