When the heavens open
by Janice Hunter
I'm sitting at our wooden
table, my hair wrapped in a towel. Driving rain is drumming against the window
in sheets, rushing down our road in torrents that have turned the front lawn
into a boggy water feature and the pavements into streams. In all my life, I
have never seen rain like this in Scotland, not even in winter.
Ten minutes ago I was standing
on the terracotta tiled steps of our recessed front porch, watching the water
bouncing six inches off the ground and pounding the roof of our car, parked
in the drive a few feet away. As I stood, mesmerised by the sound, my bare feet
getting splashed as the gutter above started to overflow, the overflow became
a cascade and our front door became the dark entrance to a secret haven behind
a waterfall. My young son joined me, his eyes huge and longing to venture out.
"Off you go then." I said. "Just take off your tee shirt first…."
He stared at me in amazement,
stripped down to his football shorts, then ran squealing around the car, splashing
in the pond that had once been the drive in front of our garage. He stood giggling
under the gushing gutter hopping up and down and flapping his arms, pretending
to sing in the shower. I looked on with longing.
My husband brought him a
warm towel when he came in shivering but beaming, dripping pools onto our wooden
floor. "You should try it Mum!!!" So I did.
I ran out of the kitchen
door onto our back patio, lifted my face to the heavens, raised my arms, smiled,
turned a slow spiral and got soaked to the skin. Surrounded by the dense green
of rain-battered bushes, hair clinging to my face, the rain streaming down my
cheeks like a warm shower, my T-shirt and jeans growing waterlogged, I stood
sodden in splattering, gushing water up past my ankles. A prayer rose unbidden
as I looked upwards and tasted the rain. Breathing in the heavy perfume of rain-drenched
branches, soil and air, I felt connected to life itself, alive, lucky, blessed…
A hot shower, some warm
towels and a change of clothes later, I'm sitting at my laptop, thinking, as
I write, of parched lands where the rain never falls and of flooded fields,
farms, villages – even city streets in wealthy countries – where wild winds,
rivers and tidal waves have washed away life itself.
For some, the gift of childhood
wonder is a luxury in the struggle for survival.
Hunter is a writer, teacher and IAC certified coach who
currently specialises in homelife coaching – helping people
create authentic, spirit filled lives and homes they love –
and in supporting coaches on their certification journeys.
She lives in Scotland with her husband and two children.