It has rained for almost a week which is not a surprise or unexpected as we are in the middle of the rainy season. It’s most welcome after the dry months of March and April. By May it starts to rain, plants get reinvigorated and flowers start to bloom. Then we celebrate Flores De Mayo or Mayflower. It’s just the prelude to the rainy season and the weather is still hot but we get occasional rain to cool the air somehow. It’s during this month that sometimes the weather seems unable to make up its mind whether it’s going to rain or not. But it’s at this time when the cloud formation for the occasional summer rain casts a beautiful color in the sky especially at dusk when the sun is beginning to set. And I excuse the weather for being unpredictable and just bask in the beauty it creates.
I remember happy and carefree times during the rainy season when I was young. My playmates would sometimes bathe in the rain. Our old house had a down spout which just let water fall from the top where the roof edges met and we bathed under the “waterfall”. We played with paper boats and leaves from our Yellow Bell flower as boats. My brothers were more creative and inventive, they made steam boats from sardine oval tin cans and used coals/embers.
When I entered school, I remember that choosing a pretty umbrella was part of the preparation for school opening. We didn’t mind walking in the rain, unless it was a downpour (or a typhoon). But even a downpour has its redeeming value, its rhythm lulled me to sleep at night.
I also remember the fine rain or drizzle during the Christmas season that made mornings cold. This extended to early January.
In college, I stayed in the dormitories within the university campus. Ilang-ilang Residence Hall for freshmen awed me with the rooms constructed and positioned in a square with a garden in the middle surrounded by the rooms. When it rained, we sometimes went out of our rooms and watched the downpour bathing the beautifully landscaped garden. It was in Sampaguita Residence Hall in my senior year that I remember waking up early one morning and saw the grounds and garden from the open corridor that bridged the dormitory wings. It was such a refreshing picture. It rained the night before and the grass glistened with the morning dew.
I remember our trip to Australia. It was raining hard on our first day and the first lap of city tour was cancelled. But we did the next best thing, we spent the afternoon in the restaurant at the top of the hotel, sat near the window and watched the pouring rain coming from the sky all the way down while sipping hot coffee.
Another trip, to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro this time, was also memorable because of downpour. We still proceeded to the beach despite the downcast sky. We were caught on the beach when the heavy rain fell. But it was not scary because there was no strong wind and no big waves. We enjoyed the sight of raindrops falling on the sea and sometimes formed crystal droplets as the rain touched the seawater. Nature has a way of giving something positive to what could be entirely a negative situation.
I remember one trip to Silang, Cavite. We walked around the place where we stayed to enjoy the country atmosphere. It was a cool afternoon, just right for walking. Then it started to rain. We were prepared for some rain but the rain was heavier than we expected. We had umbrellas but our rubber shoes and the bottom of our pants got drenched. Then we started singing “I’m Singing in the Rain” and splashed with gay abandon in the clear rain puddles. I felt like a child again.
The rain hasn’t stopped us from travelling especially to places near Metro Manila. We went to Tagaytay one June morning for an overnight stay. That night it rained and the following morning it drizzled intermittently. The view from our hotel in the morning was so beautiful with the plants looking greener and alive and the flowers more vibrant. In the distance we could see some parts where the rain is falling and where the rain has stopped. It made me think, in life we could be in the same environment but still be in a different situation and we act accordingly.
Rain has inspired many thoughts translated into sayings, songs, poems and other literary pieces. Some are positive , some are negative, some are neutral, just noting attributes peculiar to rain and it’s up to the person how to make of it. I like these : ” You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain” – anonymous, and “Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating, there’s really no such thing as a bad weather, only different kinds of good weather” -John Ruskin.